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Review Of Cross-Border Embargo Will Improve Maize Productivity – Olaitan

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MANAGING Director and Chief Executive Officer, FEMPANATH Nigeria Limited, Mr Olukayode Olaitan, has said that in order improve maize production in Nigeria, government and farmers must review cross-border embargo on maize so that Nigeria can access markets within and outside Africa.

 

Olaitan, while delivering his address during the commemoration of the 2021 World Maize Day, noted that this would create an avenue for the use of better variety of maize seeds with high yield, disease-resistant and adaptive quality to ensure more maize are available for the market.

 

He stated that it would also promote mechanised maize production that will reduce human effort and ensure work is done and strengthen value chain linkages for maize-based products that will ensure maize produced are adequately stored, distributed and marketed.

 

Olaitan listed other advantages of the review of cross-border embrago to include: scaling the power of commodity exchanges; aggregation and backward/forward integration; supporting agricultural research and development; and reducing the risks associated with maize farming by ensuring funding and bounce-back strategy in cases of loss.

“We also want to encourage governments, maize producers, user associations and other relevant stakeholders across the maize value chain to recognize the importance of maize in industrial production, household nutrient needs and generation of export earnings.

“Efforts should also be geared towards ramping up production to meet domestic needs. Actualising this would require subsidising improved maize seed varieties for massive adoption, developing alternative sources for maize production financing in addition to other intervention programmes.”

Speaking on the challenges facing maize farming in Nigeria, Olaitan said:”Nigeria’s inability to meet her expected maize production and exportation rate is not without reasons. There are so many situations that have undermined both individual and government efforts to shore up maize production.

“In view of the importance of maize farming in Nigeria, efforts are continuously made to increase maize farming yield per unit area of land and to extend areas where it can be grown, especially the cultivation of dry areas as improved through irrigation.

“Traditionally, maize has been mostly grown in forest ecology in Nigeria but large-scale maize farming in Nigeria has moved to the savannah zone, especially the Northern Guinea savannah, where yield potential is much higher than in the forest.

“The challenges are inadequate capital given that most maize farmers are unable to secure loans from many deposit money banks for lack of collateral.”

 

 

source tribuneonlineng.com

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