Farmers target 25 million MT of maize production next year 

THE National President of Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN), Bello Abubakar said that the maize farmers under their Association would produce 25 million MT of maize next year to meet up with the local demand.

Bello said that this year, the maize farmers were able to cultivate 50,000 hectares of maize which produced 20 million MT of maize.

Bello who disclosed this on Wednesday at a training workshop organised by MAAN and Business Innovative Facility (BIF) to equip its members on data collation and also assess the Association, said that they would leverage on the opportunities offered by the Anchor Borrowers scheme to produce more maize next year.

According to him, “On all year round farming, this year, our farmers cultivated more than 50 thousand hectares, which we are expecting 180 thousand metric tonnes, that is under the Anchor Borrowers Programmes and other farmers in Nigeria and the assessment for the maize production is estimated to be about 20 million tonnes. This is a great achievement in terms of maize production in Nigeria.

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But we are targeting 25 million tonnes of maize next year because we are fighting maize importation in Nigeria. If there is a ban on maize importation in the country, we have to increase and enhance our production. We are working closely with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Central Bank of Nigeria so that we will empower our farmers in areas so that they can produce more than what we have.

Speaking on possible attacks from Army Worm, he said “On armyworm, there is a plan on ground to fight it, because there is a task force committee on ground which was inaugurated by the Minister of Agriculture last year, and I  am one of the members of the committee.

“And the committee has started working on how to continue fighting armyworm.

We have already taken action on armyworm this year. And all the farmers know the problem of armyworm has drastically come down. By next year, we have so many organisations we are collaborating with so that we will come to the end of armyworm in Nigeria.”

He said the Association had provided planter, threshers, and harvesters, and their farmers would be given these implements and trained on how to use them.

Speaking on the workshop, Bello said “We are here to organise a workshop between Maize Association of Nigeria and the Business Innovation Facility (BIF) we are working with them in a technical way.

“The essence of this workshop is to assist MAAN on how to collect data on the current assessment of the association. They will help in building capacity of all our programmes in Nigeria.

“We invited all our national executives, States chairmen, for them to know that there will be trained on how to improve their activities and our business in MAAN, we are doing it so that our people will acquire knowledge base on that.

While speaking, the Consultant of BIF, Awala Haruna said the meeting was “an assessment, to reposition the MAAN, it will be difficult for you to proffer any total changes, or management structure, or giving assistance without having the current position well assessed in terms of our baseline.

“We need to collect data, to understand where MAAN is now so that they will be able to see the way they should move forward in terms of improving their efficiency.

“Generally, associations like MAAN, fail to make a significant impact, because they are arrangements, in terms of the exco arrangement, the office structure is not efficient, you need to look at that, and then recommend at the professional management consumption for the kind of structure they have, so as to leverage on  the quality of management system they should have.”

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