Maize production will drop by 25%, say growers

Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja

There are indications that the production of maize in Nigeria could drop by 25 per cent this planting season as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maize Association of Nigeria said on Wednesday.

MAAN said the target of its members this season was to produce 25 million metric tonnes of maize but expressed fears that this could be reduced by 25 per cent.

It, however, commended the Federal Government for banning the release of foreign exchange for importation of maize into Nigeria.

The association said its members had cultivated about 250,000 hectares of maize in this year’s wet season farming.

The National President, MAAN, Abubakar Bello, told journalists in Abuja that the Central Bank of Nigeria had released N16bn for this year’s Anchor Borrowers Programme.

Bello said there was no need for any end user to seek for maize importation as MAAN members were moving more into large dry season farming to increase the availability of maize grains.

He appealed to states with comparative advantage in maize production to partner MAAN by providing large area of arable lands for cultivation by members of the association.