The Twelve per cent growth in Nigeria’s maize production is yet another testament to the success of the agricultural policy of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) said in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke that the report published by an international news agency, Reuters, shows that the President has been living up to his 2015 vow to encourage farming in the country.
“On assuming office over seven years ago, Buhari vowed to invest more in agriculture and encourage farming. He spoke of the need for self-sufficiency in food production and thereafter put in place policies to drive that mission.
“Today, those efforts are yielding dividends as maize yields are growing as much as that of rice, according to Edwin Chigozie, the President of the Maize Growers and Processors Association of Nigeria in an interview with Reuters.
“He specifically said he expects Nigeria to produce 23m metric tonnes of maize this year and this he attributes to the Anchor Borrowers Programme, a flagship initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on President Buhari’s watch.
“Here are snippets of what the leader of the country’s maize growers said which is like music to our ears” ‘I can tell you it has helped to scale up production, to scale up output because virtually every component of the value chain is being addressed; mechanisation, quality inputs, extension service.’
“This sums up what the Buhari administration has been doing in agriculture through the CBN just in case there are people who still believe false narrative from naysayers,” the group said.
BMO added that the massive investment of the Buhari administration in the agriculture sector is a major reason recent setbacks in the oil sector have not had too much effect on Nigeria’s GDP.
“For the avoidance of doubt, maize, along with rice and wheat, are three of the major grains consumed in the country which the CBN had been funding their cultivation since 2015 when the Anchor Borrowers Programme was launched.
“It is also worth knowing that available data indicate that Nigeria’s maize production in 2020 stood at 10million metric tonnes so a projection of 23million tonnes in 2022 will give a clear insight into the manner of inputs that have gone into maize production in recent times.
“We pin this down to a conscious effort by the Buhari administration to ensure that Nigerians indeed ‘grow what they eat, as well as eat what they grow and this is why the country has grown from being a major net importer of rice to Africa’s largest rice producer in only a few years.
“And although we know that the 23m tonnes of maize production still falls short of Nigeria’s annual requirement of 30m tonnes, we make bold to say that efforts are on to ensure more investments in the sector in order to bridge the gap.”