The Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN) has said that it is working immensely to bridge the domestic demand deficit of the commodity.
The association conveyed this in a statement signed by its National President, Dr. Bello Abubakar Funtua.
According to the group, maize farmers would do all it can to bridge the deficit through dry season cultivation at commercial level.
The statement also noted that the farmers have set a production target of 22 million metric tonnes, which would translate to an all-year-round supply of maize.
The target, they noted, would be met through commitment on their part and the support of the Federal Government through the CBN-Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP).
“Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN) restates 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.
“Recently, the Federal Government placed a ban on the importation of maize thereby increasing the demand from local farmers and reassuring them of government patronage.
“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 a 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 product is available all year round as farmers can cultivate a minimum of three times in a year,” the statement read in part.
The group added that the new decision will not only help the farmers but will have great effects on the national economy.
On the economic effects, MAAN noted that its new resolve will help solve unemployment issues, reduce import dependency, enhance self-sufficiency in food production, as well as champion the establishment of cottage industries.
It lauded President Buhari for the ban he placed on maize importation. The ban, it noted, had increased local demand for the commodity and reassured them of government patronage.
MAAN, however, called for sustainable policies to revitalise the agricultural sector.
“On the issues of stable agricultural policies in the country, the association wishes to call 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,” it said.