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Average cost of maize production per hectare in 2019 has reached N300,000 across the zones as production exceeds demand in Nigeria, price of maize has crashed at the global market from $367 per tonne in 2018 to $172 per tonne or 53.1 per cent this year.

The sudden collapse has affected the value of 4.5 million tonnes of the cereal estimated at N285 billion ($774 million) in the country.

Findings revealed that the country produced 11million tonnes of the cereal in 2017/2018 season but the production has jumped up by 4.5 million tonnes or 40.9 per cent in 2019.

The huge production was linked to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s anchor borrower intervention scheme.

Total local production is valued at $1.97 billion.

According to the Executive Director, National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS), Prof. Mohammed Othman, Kaduna has the highest increase of maize production in the northern part of the country.

The executive director further said in Abuja that the average cost of production per hectare of maize in 2019 was between N150, 000 and N300, 000 across the zones.

Already, the Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN) said CBN’s anchor borrower scheme in the agricultural sector helped to increase maize yields.

The association noted production had surpassed domestic demand in the country.

Also, it projected that maize production may further increase by the end of 2019.

President of the association, Bello Abubakar, had earlier explained in Abuja that farmers cultivated over 50,000 hectares of maize under the CBN’s  Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.

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Abubakar noted that the association was working with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to empower farmers.

He explained: “Other farmers’ assessment for the maize production is estimated to be about 20 million tonnes. This is a great achievement in terms of maize production in Nigeria.”

Despite the huge success, it was gathered that importers had ordered for some imported corn.

It was learnt that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)’s shipping position would still take delivery of 400,000 tonnes from the United States and Brazil through the ports in 2019.

Last year, NPA’s shipping position indicated that between January and December 2018, the country imported 400,000 metric tonnes of the cereal valued at N52.4 ($146million) as against 200,000 metric tonnes imported in 2017.

The port data explained that the two vessels which berthed at Lagos and Calabar ports in December with 25,200 tonnes were Eagle Star laden with13,200 tonnes at Apapa Bulk Terminal Limited (ABTL) of the  Lagos Port, while MV Eternity C offloaded 12,000 tonnes at Calabar Port.

Also, no fewer than 38,000 tonnes of the cereal were offloaded at Lagos and Calabar ports within  August and September 2018.

At the ABTL, MV Eternity Sea offloaded 18,000 tonnes, while MV Zola discharged 20,000 tonnes at the ENL Consortium terminal in the period.

Finding also revealed that some 1.45 million tonnes of maize valued at $532.1 million were ferried into the country from Russia, Brazil and the United States to meet industrial and domestic demand between 2016 and 2018.

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The port data revealed that 195,443 metric tonnes of the cereal were conveyed to the country between January and October 2017 through the Lagos, Rivers, Calabar and Tincan ports.

In October alone, Kinatsi discharged 18,500 tonnes; Zola, 20,000 tonnes and  Nasco Pearl,  18,000 tonnes at Lagos Port Complex, while 8,444 tonnes were offloaded from African Joseph R and 11,500 tonnes from Estia at Tincan Island  Port.

Also, Nasco Pearl and Desert Victory discharged 22,000tonnes   and 14,999 tonnes respectively at Rivers Port in Port Harcourt.

Source: New Telegraph

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