The Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN) erects a maize pyramid in Kaduna State as part of its loan repayment under the Anchor Borrower Scheme (ABP) for 2021 rainy season agriculture.
Maize from across the country is the second pyramid erected by maize farmers since the ABP began in 2015.
Speaking to reporters in Kaduna, National Chairman of NAMA, Dr Abubakar Bello said the pyramid should showcase the successes of ABP.
He said the pyramid, which is the first of its kind in Nigeria, is part of the repayment of maize farmers’ loans to the Central Bank of Nigeria for 2021 rainy season agriculture.
“We want to put this pyramid in place to showcase the success and achievement of the Anchor Borrower program under President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Furthermore, we want to show what we have done and recognize what Mr. President has done for maize farmers in Nigeria, we also want to show the effort and appreciation of all maize farmers in Nigeria.
“I want to appreciate the efforts and support of Kaduna State Governor Mallam Nasir El-Rufai who embraced this program and promised to support us, we have seen the reality.
“The number of pyramids to be erected will be determined by the space we have here. Loan repayment is for the 2021 rainy season,” he said.
Speaking on the high cost of maize, Dr Bello said the COVID-19 pandemic was a contributing factor as input production companies were unable to produce due to movement restrictions.
He said maize production increased to 20 million metric tons in 2020 from 8 million metric tons that were produced in 2015 before the introduction of PBA.
“The issue of the high price of food is something that is not just about maize because if you look at the statistics from the FAO, but there will also be a shortage of food by the end of 2021 there will be a high price of other goods.
“The price of maize is still better than the price of other commodities, it’s a global problem, it’s not just in Nigeria.
“Another factor that contributed to the high cost of corn is COVID-19 in 2019 and 2020, because the inputs that are produced in so many countries around the world were produced in 2019 and 2020, there was a shortage of inputs that farmers will use on their farms, even mechanization equipment was very scarce due to Covid-19, something a farmer will buy for N1500 is now N4000., and the cost of production has increased.
“Before this administration came, in 2015, we only had 8 million tons of maize, but at the end of 2020 it was 20 million tons and apart from that, farmers now have access to inputs without their money. but in the form of a loan, they obtain the technology within the framework of the PBA.
“Where farmers are getting 20 tons of maize, they are now getting 50 tons of maize, there is new farming technology, there are extension services under PBA, mechanization and monitoring and evaluation, the farmers benefit from it and they have increased their production.
“The maize mills we have in the country have increased, the processors now have more businesses, they now employ more people, these are the successes of ABP. In one season, more than a million people get jobs under the ABP,” he said.
Kaduna State Agriculture Commissioner Ibrahim Hussaini said the pyramid is symbolic and will go a long way in convincing Nigerians that the CBN program and the association is ensuring that Nigeria achieves self-sufficiency in of food production.
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