The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released N16 billion for Anchor Borrowers Programme. The Apex bank has also been applauded for its new foreign exchange policy restricting forex access for maize imports.
The Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN) said, equally important, the Apex bank acted in the best interest of the economy, urging farmers to explore the opportunities presented by the restrictions to increase production capacity.
MAAN President, Abubakar Bello spoke at a news conference in Abuja, listing the achievement of the last planting season.
He said though the association was targeting about 25 million metric tonnes of maize production in this year’s planting season, it might suffer about 25 per cent reduction due to COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, maize farmers have cultivated about 250,000 hectares of maize in this year’s wet season farming.
He said in the 2020 planting season, the CBN had supported the value-chain of maize production; providing the needed input from land preparations to harvesting, aggregation and storage.
Bello said in this wet season programme, 250,000 hectares of land have been cultivated for maize by MAAN members; adding that the group would work with its partners to double maize production.
He said the apex bank has supported by providing high yielding maize seeds to all our members; adding that with all these great steps being taken by the government; the country can be self-sufficient in maize production in the next few months if we all believe in the capacity of our farmers; as well as put our hands on the plough.