The Federal Government has said that 4 million metric tonnes maize supply gap has been closed through the domestic production of the commodity by local farmers.
This appears to be a boost to federal government’s efforts through various policies aimed at significantly improving local production of maize as well as meeting domestic demand of the product.
This was made known by the Maize Value Chain Coordinator of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Adeleke Mufutau, at an event organized by HarvestPlus Nigeria in Abuja, on the importance of vitamin A maize.
What the official of the Ministry of Agriculture is saying
According to Punch, Mufutau said that maize was no longer in short supply in Nigeria.
He said, “I can authoritatively say that the gap between the supply of maize grains and its demand, which was around four million tonnes some three years ago, has been closed by local production.
“And who are the brains behind this? It is the Maize Association of Nigeria, which has a large number of farmers who produce this maize, specifically vitamin A maize.
“Maize is no longer in short supply in Nigeria. Sequel to COVID-19, our production was about 15.5 million metric tonnes and the demand for maize grains in Nigeria was about 18.5 million metric tonnes.
“That was before the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2019. But the good news is that this gap has been closed and farmers are working hard to maintain this feat.”
Mufutau, however, noted that the challenge at the moment was how vitamin A maize grains would be utilised by processors, poultry farmers, flour mills and other small-scale industries, considering the nutrients in the crop.
Also speaking at the event, the Country Manager of HarvestPlus, Yusuf Dollah, stated that at the beginning of the 2021 wet season, over 9,000 metric tonnes of vitamin A maize seeds were produced and distributed across the country by over 20 seed companies.
What you should know
Recall that in July 2020, the CBN included maize importation to its list of 41 items banned from assessing forex at the official market as it directed all banks/authorised dealers to immediately discontinue the processing of Forms M for maize/corn importation into the country.
The apex bank in its circular said that this measure was aimed at increasing local production of the commodity, stimulating a rapid economic recovery, safeguarding rural livelihoods and increasing jobs.
Also in July 2021, the CBN moved to crash the price of maize as it has approved the release of 50,000 metric tonnes of maize to 12 major producers, from the strategic maize reserve (SMR) under its Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).
The apex bank said that the release was to enable moderation and price control in the Nigerian market adding that the action, the third of such releases to the companies, was intended to check activities of middlemen that cause hoarding and artificial scarcity