The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN) have started a collaboration to aggregate maize under the federal government’s Anchor Borrowers (ABP) program for the 2021 rainy season.
Maize farmers also kicked off the 2021/2022 dry season agriculture yesterday in the Dadin-Kowa community of Yamaltu / Deba Local Council in Gombe State.
The team then traveled to the Pindiga community of Akko Local Council in Gombe State where the loan repayment ceremony was launched.
CBN’s Office of Development and Finance Abdullahi Baba-Isa said federal government intervention in maize cultivation has yielded impressive results.
Baba-Isa said CBN’s intervention was aimed at harnessing Nigeria’s potential in the agricultural sector, conserving foreign exchange, increasing the availability of food and reducing youth unemployment while discouraging the importation of food.
He said that in Gombe more than 4,000 hectares were being cultivated under the ABP for wet season agriculture and “we are expecting about six or seven bags per hectare”.
The apex bank manager said he was impressed with the recovery rate in the Pindiga cluster, as 600 of the expected 720 bags had been recovered.
Baba-Isa therefore urged other farmers to imitate Pindiga’s gesture.
Earlier, during the team’s visit to the Dadin-Kowa community for the inauguration of 2021/2022 dry season agriculture, NAMA President Dr Bello Abubakar congratulated the federal government.
Abubakar said the event was proof of the federal government’s investment in the agricultural sector and in promoting agriculture all year round to strengthen food security in the country.
He said more than 2,000 corn farmers are benefiting from the CBN Anchor Borrowers program in Gombe state.
He said that with the intervention of the CBN in the agricultural sector from 2015, maize production has registered an increase in the country.
“In 2015 our annual maize production was eight million tonnes, but in 2020 we recorded 20 million tonnes. That’s an increase of 12 million tonnes. This is impressive as far as MAAN is concerned, ”he said.
According to the MAAN president, Nigeria is now sufficient in maize with the intervention of the federal government.
“This is why during the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic, from 2019 to 2020, when the world closed its borders, we were able to feed ourselves,” Abubakar said.