The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has unveiled 21 maize pyramids in Kaduna State. This is expected to boost maize production towards promoting food security and self-sufficiency.
CBN revealed that, “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, the 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 of 2021,, “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 says, “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.”
According to the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Mahmood Abubakar, represented by the North West Zonal Director, Agriculture, Dr. Timkat Vontav, the CBN says ABP has been able to reduce the gap between the supply of maize grains and its demand from domestic and industrial users.
Emir of Zazzau, Ambassador Ahmed Nuhu Bamali has prayed that Nigeria will become self-sufficient in food production in the near future and stop importing food from other countries.