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Hostilities in farmlands may frustrate Crown Flour Mills backward integration on wheat

Recent outcries of small and large scale farmers in parts of Northern Nigeria over the disturbing impacts of not necessarily Boko Haram, but herders’ killings, bandits’ disruptions and kidnappings are beginning to cause serious drop in farming activities as farmers now live in fears and abandon farms.
Already, several planned partnerships and development programmes of the affected farmers are beginning to collapse due to insecurity especially at farmlands.
The scenario has raised fears over new partnerships being planned by mega agro allied investors and companies including Crown Flour Mills, currently working on backward integration for wheat production with Nigeria’s Wheat Farmers Association.
Crown Flour Mills is a subsidiary of Olam Grains Nigeria and the group is driving cultivation of wheat in Nigeria as part of its backward integration drive.
In an interview during Crown Flour Mills’ customer gala night held in Abuja recently, the Managing Director, Olam Grains, Anurag Shukla, said “We are working actively with the Wheat Farmers’ Association and the Presidency to ensure that famers can grow wheat effectively and efficiently.”
According to him, “It is one of our core focus areas because we believe that Nigeria can grow wheat especially in the northern region.”
He revealed that apart from the ongoing discussions with Dangote Group to buy over its flour production line, Olam Grains has been expanding its footprint in the flour milling industry since 2010 when it first acquired Crown Flour Mills.
He disclosed that apart from the potential to create 10 million jobs across the entire value chains, “We strongly believe that in Nigeria, the flour milling industry is one business that can provide employment. This is something that is close to our heart since we started 30 years ago.”