The Central Bank of Nigeria on Friday in Abuja said it would intensify its support to farmers to meet the production of 12.5 million metric tons of maize in the country in the next 18 months.
Yusuf Yila, Head, Development Finance Department, CBN, said this at the stakeholders’ meeting of Maize Growers Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria.
Represented by Elennor Ihua, Maize Champion, Development Finance Department, CBN, Yila said increased support was crucial in driving maize value chain in the country.
According to him, CBN is committed to ensuring that maize is a focal commodity in Nigeria.
He said: “CBN is passionate about maize as a commodity and we believe that there is immense opportunity in that crop and Nigeria has a comparative advantage to produce maize that will not only sustain the country, but can be exported.
“It is on that premise that the CBN resolved and decided to pursue the support of the maize initiatives.
“Just this 2020 wet season farming, our total pursuit and target that we have met is 250,000 hectares across the country and MAGPAMAN coming for the first time has taken about 70,000.
“We have a mandate to ensure there is no maize scarcity in this country and to grow maize production in this country.
“So, our target for the dry season is that we are going to double that number.
“In the next 18 months from this dry season, our target is to do 2.5 million hectares of land of maize in this country.
“It means in the next 18 months, our projection for production is 12.5 million metric tons of maize and we believe with that and the other production around the country Nigeria will be self-sustainable in maize production.”
Ibrahim stressed the ministry’s commitment to partner with commodity associations that were determined to promote food security in the country.
He urged the maize farmers to leverage on the CBN ABP support to prove they could produce for local demand.
The National President of MAGPAMAN, Dr. Edwin Uche, said the association had received support worth N13 billion from CBN for the 2020 wet season farming.