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Nigerian Maize farmers plan dry season production to address deficit 

The Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN) said it would embark ona massive dry season production in order to satisfy local demand following the setback recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown era.
The maize farmers also said it is pertinent to also scale up production as a result of the recent Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) action on including maize on import prohibition list. 
MAAN also restate its commitment to continuously support the Federal government’s Agricultural policies and programs geared towards ensuring Nigeria attains Food Security and Food Sufficiency in the nearest future.
The National President of  MAAN, Dr Abubakar Bello in a statement, said the association would work assiduously to support maize farmers in the country with the best available inputs and needed technical support to boost maize farming.
“In order to bridge the deficit occasioned by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, recent floods and drought in some parts of the country, the association would embark on dry season farming at commercial level to scale up production.
“On  Dry season farming, MAAN’s target is to cultivate maize all over the country in the dry season thereby ensuring that the produce is available all year round as farmers can cultivate minimum of three times in a year.
“This would enable farmers to make more profit, remain self reliance and repay their loans with ease”, Dr Bello said.
He said the impact of Dry Season farming on the Nigeria’s economy includes “increase in Production and more Income, boost Local Economy (As there is guaranteed market for produce).
Others include “enable Cottage Industries spring up across the country for processing maize into different forms of food and animals feeds, particularly for the Poultry sub-sector, drastically reduce Poverty in the country as it would be readily available and affordable.
Reduce Hunger and create Jobs for the teeming youths in the country, drastically reduce Dependence on importation, reduce insecurities in the country (Many youth in the country are most likely to buy into the maize farming idea since it’s an easy crop to cultivate thereby keeping them busy), enhance Self sufficient and food security”.
Dr Bello said “all these would culminate into Nigerians growing what they eat at a time they need to eat and MAAN in collaboration with all relevant Stakeholders in all the States of the Federation is ready to make that a reality.
“The association’s target for the 2020 wet season farming is placed at Twenty –two million metric tons; with all plans on ground and with the steady support of the Federal government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers Programme, Maize has the potentials of becoming a Wonder Crop and the miracle all Farmers and Consumers are looking for.
 “The CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme which the association keyed into since 2018 till date has positively impacted maize production in the country”, MAAN said.

On the issues of stable agricultural policies in the country, MAAN called on the government to ensure a standard and stable agriculture policy in the country by engaging all relevant stakeholders to design a new road map for agriculture from 2020 to 2030.
“MAAN also commends President Muhammadu Buhari on the bold and strategic decision to ban maize importation, a move he described as a step in the right direction towards making attainment of Food Security a reality adding that the trust placed on Maize farmers by Mr. President is very much appreciated and will not be taken for granted as the association would work assiduously to meet the set targets.
‘Maize farmers appreciate the support of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, particularly on the palliatives being given to farmers all over the country in the form of inputs”, the statement added.

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