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FG closes four million MT maize supply gap

THE Federal Government has said it has closed the supply gap of four million metric tonnes of maize through the local production of the commodity by indigenous farmers in Nigeria.

It made the announcement through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development at an event on the importance of vitamin A maize organised by HarvestPlus Nigeria in Abuja.

The Agric ministry’s Maize Value Chain Coordinator, Adeleke Mufutau, who represented the FMARD, told reporters on the side-lines of the event 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.”

Additionally, Mufutau said, “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.”

He stated that the concern now 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.

On his part, the Country Manager, 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.

“The vitamin A maize varieties which matures within 80 days of planting to harvest is at the moment being harvested from the various agro regions of Nigeria, indications coming from the field shows that 2021 is indeed a year for the vitamin A maize,” he said.

The President, MAAN, Bello Abubakar, also added that maize producers nationwide had been delivering virtually all their products to the market, as maize farmers hardly record waste.

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