The Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN) has pledged the commitment of its members to produce about 25 million metric tonnes of the commodity next year, AgroNature has reported.
MAAN National President, Mr. Bello Abubakar, who gave the assurance recently in Abuja, explained that a total of 50,000 hectares of land were currently under maize cultivation nationwide with the capacity to meet the targeted output.
According to him: ”Assessing our farmers under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programmes and other farmers in Nigeria, the country’s maize production is estimated to be about 20 million tonnes.
“This will be great achievement in terms of maize production in Nigeria as it will of course meet our local demands.
”But we are targeting 25 million tonnes of maize next year because we are fighting maize importation in Nigeria.
“If there is ban on maize importation in the country, we have to increase and enhance our production.
“We are working closely with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Central Bank of Nigeria so that we will empower our farmers to produce more than what we have now, ” he said.
On the possibility of army worm attack, Abubakar explained that the association had put in place proactive measures to tackle any outbreak.
He said part of the measures, was a committee inaugurated by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development recently.
“The army worm has affected our farmers in the past. But the good news is that, there are plans on ground to fight it.
“There is a taskforce committee on ground which was inaugurated by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh which I am one of the members and the committee has started working on how to continue fighting army worm until we get a permanent solution to it.” He added.
Abubakar said the association has enlighten its members on how to deal with the issue in case of an attack on their farms and a lot of sensitisation is ongoing to ensure armyworm attack is reduced drastically.
However, he noted that by next year, the issues would have been addressed in collaborations with other of organisation such as the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
He said the association had provided planter, threshers, and harvesters to its members and also trained them on how to use them.
According to him, MAAN is also collaborating with Business Innovation Facility (BIF) on how to collect data on current assessment of the association.
He said it would help in building capacity of all their programmes in the country.
“We invited all our national executives, States chairmen, for training on how to improve their activities and our business in MAAN.”