MAAN Stakeholders Set to Stack Bags of Maize for the 2nd Produce Pyramid in Kaduna Photo: The Nation

Food Security: MAAN repays CBN’s ABP loans, erects maize pyramid in Kaduna

*The Maize Association of Nigeria notes it appreciates the efforts and support of Governor (Malam) Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, who ‘embraced the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers Programme, and promised to support the farmers to achieve self-sufficiency in food production’

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

In ensuring self-sufficiency in food production while showcasing the successes farmers have attained under the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP), the Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN) has said it would be erecting a maize pyramid in Kaduna State, as part of its loan repayment under the ABP scheme.

ConsumerConnect learnt the pyramid, said to be the first of its kind in the West African country, was a fraction of the maize farmers’ loan repayment to the CBN in the 2021 wet season farming.

Photo: NAN

The maize, which was sourced from across the country was the second pyramid erected by the association since the commencement of the ABP in 2015.

Dr. Abubakar Bello, National President of MAAN, in a media chat Wednesday, February 2, 2022, in Kaduna, said that the maize pyramid was to showcase the tangible successes of the Anchor Borrowers Programme in Nigeria.

According to him, the pyramid was part of the loan repayment by maize farmers to the Central Bank of Nigeria in the 2021 wet season farming.

Bello stated: “We want to set up this pyramid in order to showcase the success and the achievement of the Anchor Borrowers Programme, under President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Also, we want to showcase what we have done, and to acknowledge what Mr. President has done for maize farmers in Nigeria, as well as to show the efforts and appreciation of all maize farmers in Nigeria.”

The MAAN Chief also said: “I want to appreciate the efforts and support of the Kaduna state governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, who embraced this programme and promised to support us, we have seen the reality.

“The number of pyramids to be erected would be determined by the space we have here. The loan repayment is for the 2021 wet season.”

Why high cost of maize in markets?

In respect of the high cost of maize in the Nigerian markets, Dr. Bello disclosed that  the damaging COVID-19 pandemic was a contributory factor because input production companies were unable to produce, due to movement restriction.

However, he noted that maize production increased to 20 million metric tonnes in 2020, as against 8 million metric tonnes that were produced as of 2015, before the introduction of the ABP scheme in the country.

Bello further said: “The issue of high price of food is something that is not only for maize, because if you look at the statistics of FAO, there will be food shortage by the end of 2021, hence this would bring about high price of other commodities.

“The price of maize is even better than the price of other commodities, it is a global issue, it is not only in Nigeria.

“Another factor that contributed to the high cost of maize is COVID-19 in 2019 and 2020, because the inputs that is being produced across many countries in the world were not produced in 2019 and 2020.”

The National President of MAAN stated: “There was scarcity of inputs that farmers will use on their farms, even the mechanisation equipment were very scarce due to the pandemic, as a tool formally sold for N1,500 is now N4,000, thereby bringing about increases in the cost of production.

“Before the Advent of this administration in 2015, we only had 8 million tonnes of maize, but by the end of 2020, it has increased to 20 million tonnes.”

He also noted: “Apart from that, farmers now have access to inputs without their money, but as a loan, they get the technology under the ABP.

“Where farmers are getting 20 tons of maize, has increase to 50 tons, there is a new technology of farming, there are extension services under the ABP.

“Mechanisation, monitoring and evaluation, the farmers are benefiting and they have increased their production.”

Bello added: “The maize mills we have in the country have increased, the processors have more companies and are now employing more people, these are the success stories of the ABP.

“In one season, more than one million people got jobs under ABP.”

In his remark, Engr. Joseph Bamidele, Coordinator of Anchor Borrowers Programme and Assistant Secretary-General of MAAN, said the maize pyramid would showcase the successes farmers had achieved in their mass production in this country.

Ibrahim Hussaini, Honourable Commissioner for Agriculture, in Kaduna State, also said the pyramid was symbolic.

The Commissioner stressed this development would go a long way in convincing Nigerian consumers, that the CBN’s ABP programme and MAAN were ensuring that the country could achieve self-sufficiency in food production.

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