Maize farmers repay ABP loans, erect pyramid

Maize Farm

The Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN), says it will erect a maize pyramid in Kaduna State, as part of its loan repayment under the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP).

The maize, which was sourced from across Nigeria, will be the second pyramid erected by the Association since the commencement of the ABP in 2015.

Speaking with journalists in Kaduna on Wednesday, the National President of MAAN, Dr Abubakar Bello, said the pyramid is to showcase the successes of the ABP.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted Bello as saying that the pyramid, the first of its kind in Nigeria, was part of the loan repayment by maize farmers to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the 2021 wet season farming.

He also thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, for their support and for embracing the AB, adding that “The number of pyramids to be erected would be determined by the space we have here.”

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

Speaking on the high cost of maize, Bello 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 shortages 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 were being produced across many countries in the world were not produced in 2019 and 2020.

“There was scarcity of inputs that farmers will use on their farms, even the mechanization equipment were very scarce due to the pandemic, as a tool formally sold for N1,500 is now N4000, thereby bringing about increases in the cost of production.

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

“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 increased to 50 tons; there is a new technology of farming, there are extension services under the ABP.

“The farmers are benefiting from mechanization, monitoring and evaluation, and they have increased their production.

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

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

ABP success stories

On his part, the ABP Coordinator/Assistant Secretary-General of MAAN, Joseph Bamidele, said the maize pyramid would showcase the successes farmers had achieved in their mass production, and the formation of the second national pyramid in Nigeria, and probably in Africa.

The Commissioner for Agriculture, Kaduna State, Ibrahim Hussaini, said the pyramid is symbolic, and would go a long way in convincing Nigerians that the CBN’s ABP and the Association were ensuring that Nigeria achieved self-sufficiency in food production.

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