By Bukola Adewumi
The National President of Maize Association of Nigeria, Dr Bello Abubakar, has assured the nation of high produce of maize to meet its demands in spite of all odds.
Abubakar made this known on Monday in Abuja at the inauguration of the first National Maize Pyramid.
He said that maize farmers in the country were currently producing enough to meet up the demand of maize in Nigeria.
The president thereby called on the government to sustain the ban on Maize importation to further boost maize production and to encourage farmers in the country.
“We say no to maize importation into Nigeria and we will always support the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for denying maize importers forex.
“Simply because the CBN supports President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda of “eat what we produce and produce what we Eat”.
“We can produce enough for our consumption and industrial use,” he said.
He said that the Anchor Borrowers programme had helped smallholder maize farmers in the country to attain quality production and a sustainable life.
Abubakar appealed to farmers to cultivate the habit of repaying their loans to ensure the success of the Anchor Borrower’s Programme.
“The success of the Anchor Borrower’s Programme lies in our conduct as maize farmers, we therefore, need to be optimistic in our thoughts and in repaying our loans as at when due for the survival of the programme.
“Anchor Borrower’s Programme was initiated in the first instance to help link small holder farmers to processors thereby creating viable and sustainable money,” he said.
He quoted Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele as saying that “the maize pyramid unveiling programme marks another milestone in the CBN Anchor Borrower’s story.”
Emefiele said that the Anchor Borrower’s Programme had proven to be a game changer in revolutionising agriculture in Nigeria.
He gave assurance that the Apex bank would continue to release maize from strategic grains reserves into the market to moderate the price of maize in the market and checkmate the activities of hoarders in the Nigerian market.
“There were nine pyramids of over 50 thousand 100kg bags of maize from Katsina state alone on display by the maize association of Nigeria at the unveiling ceremony of the first National Maize Pyramids.
“The maize will be used to repay the anchor borrowers loan by the farmers, while the apex bank would allocate the maize to off takers consisting of mostly feed meals and also the strategic grains reserve in the country.
“The loan repayment and recovery would take place in all the participating states,’’ he said. (NAN)