The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has unveiled 21 maize pyramids in Kaduna State which it said will boost maize production towards promoting food security and self-sufficiency.
According to the CBN, “As at February 2022, it has under its Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, disbursed about N948 billion to 4,478,381 smallholder farmers who cultivated 5.2 million hectares of farmland across Nigeria, creating 12.5m direct and indirect jobs.”
Speaking at the unveiling yesterday, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele who was represented by the Director, Development Finance Department, Mr Philip Yila Yusuf said maize demand in Nigeria is estimated to increase at an average of 3.2 per cent per annum, largely due to population increase and urbanisation.
“Hence, the objectives of the CBN intervention are to increase maize production by 1.6 million metric tons, create jobs and enhance the skills of Nigerian people in maize commodity, facilitate easier access to funding for farmers; and improve and grow the economy.”
He disclosed that through these interventions production of maize in the country has risen from 10.5 million metric tons in 2015 (Pre-ABP era) to 12.2 million metric tons as at 2021 saying, “As we prepare for another wet season programme, the CBN is committed to financing over 600,000 hectares.”
President of the Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN), Dr. Bello Abubakr said the pyramids have demonstrated the capacity of MAAN in mobilising Nigerian farmers to produce what can sustain the country and even export over a period of time.
He said, “MAAN is not just supporting food security but food and nutrition security with the collaboration with HarvestPlus to promote the production and consumption of nutritious vitamin A maize in Nigeria, there are 21 pyramids each constructed with between 30 to 79 trucks of maize.”
The Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Mahmood Abubakar who was represented by the North West Zonal Director, Agriculture, Dr. Timkat Vontav said the ABP of CBN has been able to close the gap between the supply of maize grains and its demand by domestic and industrial users.
Emir of Zazzau, Ambassador Ahmed Nuhu Bamali prayed that in the next few years, Nigeria will become self-sufficient in food production and stop importing from other countries.