THE Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN) has said that their members have been unable to sell over 10,000 metric tons of maize due to high concentration of aflatoxin
Jame Kolo who is Zonal Coordinator Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN), North Central, said that breweries, poultry farmers, and fish farmers have rejected their maize due to aflatoxin infection.
Speaking at the sensitization on Aflasafe organized by the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Kolo called in the government to ensure that they mop up the maize produced by the farmers in order to all them (farmers) produce more.
“For sometime now, we have been having this challenge very seriously because when we produce Maize, the poultry farmers, the fish farmers and even the breweries complain that the maize we produce has high concentrate of aflatoxin, and even the Maize we produce we are very sure that since last year cannot be consumed all by Nigerians, we expect that by now, we will be exporting Maize to other countries, but as a result of this aflatoxin, we have not been able to export.
“As at now, we have on ground from last year Anchor Borrower program over 10,000 metric tons of maize that has been returned as payment by farmers but we have not been able to sell it, but with this Aflasafe that has been developed to tackle aflatoxin, I think this is going to help farmers because we will be able to sell Maize that we produce locally and internationally”, he said.
While commending IITA for inventing Aflasafe, he also called in the government to subsidize the Aflasafe so that farmers can afford it.
“We want to also appeal to the Federal Government to please come to our aid by purchasing the grains we have on ground now because people are still returning maize up till today even, we have 10,000 metric tons on ground and more are still coming because they are just aggregating the last year production up till now, and we have started this year program again,
“So, if we have not been able to sell last year own, who are we going to produce more, so this is going to help if the Aflasafe is going to remove this aflatoxin from maize.
“We want to also appreciate the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture that has allocated some amount of Aflasafe to states, in fact each state received 350kg of Aflasafe for members of MAAN.
“We want the Federal Government to go a little further because the farmers will not be able to buy chemicals, buy Fertilizer, feed and other insecticides and at the end of the day day, be able to break even when they produce, so we want the Federal Government to come to our aid by subsidizing seriously this product to be able to assist farmers”, he noted.