The Maize Growers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (MAGPAMAN) has finalized and disclosed plans to distribute N2 billion inputs for dry season farming, under the CBN/MAGPAN/Anchor’s Borrowers Scheme.
This is according to a disclosure by the Kaduna State Chairman of the Association, Alhaji Lawal-Maishanu Gazara, made available via the News Agency of Nigeria sources.
Alhaji Gazara revealed that the dry season farming of crops would commence by the end of January 2021, to avoid harsh consequences of harmattan. About 5000 farmers are expected to benefit from the scheme, carting items like machines and equipment for maize flour production.
What they are saying: Commenting on the demographics of the beneficiaries, Alhaji Gazara said: “The CBN/MAGPMAN Anchor Borrowers Scheme has engaged 5000 farmers, out of which 4000 are youths below 30 years, who are not gainfully employed, while 2500 women were also engaged for the processing of maize flour.”
The chairman also noted that the size of each farm had been captured and an identity card issued to each of the project beneficiaries, for easy identification and documentation to enable them access the required support.
On the other hand, he decried the high rate of default in repaying the loans that beneficiaries received for the 2020 wet season farming, blaming low harvest as a likely factor for the high incidence of default payment.
He said, “During the 2020 wet season, farmers received improved maize seeds, fertiliser, herbicides and other components that may help the farmer realize between 30 to 40 bags per hectare.
“Repayment of such items given to the farmers during the wet season farming would be about 10 to 15 bags of maize and each farmer will get 15 to 25 bags of maize as profit.
In case you missed it: Nairametrics had earlier reported plans by CBN to support local maize growers, sequel to the ban of maize imports in Nigeria. CBN had projected a production of 12.5 million tons of maize in 18 months.
Why it matters: The recent announcement is a big boost to achieving food security both in the state and in the country at large, encouraging farmers to do more and reducing youth unemployment in the state. At a larger scope, the action has the potential to save the country a lot of foreign exchange, which would have been used to import maize into the country.