By Festus Ahon – Asaba
The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on Tuesday, expressed its readiness to capture 200,000 maize farmers across the country with a view to boosting maize production in Nigeria.
The Director Head of Finance Development, CBN, Mr. Ihua Elenwor disclosed this in Asaba, Delta State during the flag-off of 2020 wet season maize farming with over 2000 hectares land of the Federal Government, Maize Association of Nigeria, MAAN and CBN, Anchor Borrowers Programme held in Ogwashi-Uku, Aniocha South local government area of the state.
Elenwor said it takes a partnership to build and develop a nation, adding that over 1, 284 MAAN and maize growers procession farmers in Delta hold their destinies in their hands. He held that 70 percent of poultry feeds were taken from maize.
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He said: “The Central Bank wants to support smallholder farmers with 166, 000 inputs for farmers that will produce a minimum of four tones of maize in a hectare of land.
“The commitment is that if the farmers are willing to do their part, the CBN is willing to do more in the next season. Don’t sell the inputs provided by CBN but use them for the purpose they are met”.
Flagging off the planting programme, Delta State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr. Julius Egbedi, assured that the State Government would also support the farmers so as to encourage large production of maize for consumption.
Saying that the state government was working hard in crop production, Egbedi told the maize farmers that the State Government was out to engage about 5000 farmers in crop production.
He said: “The state government is willing to support maize farmers. We appeal to our traditional rulers and youth leaders to make land available for development as the primary beneficiaries will be from the community”.
Earlier in his remarks, Chairman of MAAN in the State, Mr. Chukwutem Ossai, said: “The Federal Government, MAAN and CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme on maize farming is an initiative of President Buhari to boost maize production by involving the grassroots maize farmers in all local governments in Nigeria to produce enough for local consumption and for export”.