Farmers under the aegis of Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN) have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to critically look into their major concerns in his second term in office.
Speaking in an interview with journalists in Abuja, the National President of the association, Alhaji Abubakar Bello Funtua, appealed to the President to sustain the tempo of achievement recorded especially in agriculture during his first tenure.
“We are expecting that by this year or next year, President Buhari will stop maize importation in Nigeria just like he did with rice, since we are producing more than enough.
“For the Anchor Borrowers Programme, we want this programme to be a revolving and a complete value chain cycle; If CBN provide this loan to farmers, at the end of the harvest, we want the government to off-take all what they have produced, because, every year, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture used to purchase grains on behalf of the federal government. So, our prayer is that the federal government will now intervene so that whatever farmers produced under anchor borrower, they will now off-take what they have produced, so that the programme will be sustainable,” he stated. ADVERTISEMENT Speaking on MAAN’s preparation for this wet season, Alhaji Funtua said they have already held a lot of meetings with all the stakeholders in terms of input supply for good and quality input products to the farmers. “We have already made all the necessary arrangements, only waiting for the validated list of our farmers so that they can start supplying to our farmers. “Also in terms of mechanization and other extension services, we have done everything, only waiting for the verified list from the CBN so that we can just go ahead. “In terms of the Fall Army Worm, last year, we collaborated with the FAO and the federal ministry of Agriculture in tackling it. Also this year, the same thing, and even in our programme, we have provided and included pesticides and insecticides for the Fall Army Worm so that in case if there is any problem with the worm, our farmers will now use it,” he said. The MAAN president also explained the current effort of the association to deal with aflatoxin, which affect the quality of Nigerian maize. “We are going to use Aflasafe in this farming season so that we now produce an aflatoxin-free maize in Nigeria. As other organizations are claiming that our maize is always aflatoxin contaminated, we are challenging that that is not true, but still we are going to use Aflasafe in collaboration with the ministry of Agriculture which has provided us with the Aflasafe, and we are going to use it in our maize farming this year,” he added.