Agriculture Headline National News Nigeria

Food security: Maize farmers move to boost production

The Maize Association of Nigeria, (MAN) has unveiled a Public Private Partnership model aimed at creating one million jobs annually along the maize value chain.

The National President of the association, Dr. Bello Annur, unveiled the new PPP model at the launch of this year’s maize planting season held in Katsina.

He said the model was developed in response to various challenges faced by maize farmers, which include poor mechanization, low farming capital, lack of input supply, and unstable commodity market.

Dr Annur explained that the association decided to partner dozens of private firms to support small holder farmers with stable input supply, soft loans, mechanization, and improved seedlings.

He said the private partners will also introduce farmers to modern farming techniques and high-yielding crop varieties to boost their production.

According to the MAN President, besides boosting maize production per hectare, the new arrangement will also complement other efforts at attaining food security in the country.

He urged the federal and state ministries of agriculture, the Central Bank of Nigeria and other partners to continue to support maize farmers with soft loans, input supply and mechanization equipment.

Katsina State Governor, Malam Dikko Radda, identified insecurity as a major threat to farming in the state.

The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Faruk Jobe, pledged that the state government would work with security agencies to restore normalcy in parts of the state where armed banditry was hindering agriculture.

The state government’s development plan entails the full mechanization of agriculture and the harnessing of agricultural resources for economic development, he added.

Reporting by Isma’il Adamu; Editing by Daniel Adejo and Tony Okerafor