Nigeria currently producing 7 million tons of maize annually - AFDB

Nigeria currently producing 7 million tons of maize annually - AFDB

- Nigeria is currently producing 7 million tons of maize annually out of the 8 million tons the country requires

- This was revealed by the director, agriculture and agro-industry; African Development Bank, Dr Martins Fregene

- He made the revelation at the Feed Nigeria Summit held in Abuja recently

The president, African Development Bank (AFDB), Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, has revealed that Nigeria is currently producing 7 million tons of maize annually out of the 8 million tons the country requires.

He made the revelation at the Feed Nigeria Summit held in Abuja between Monday, July 30 and Tuesday, July 31 where he was represented by the director, agriculture and agro-industry; AfDB, Dr. Martins Fregene.

“Nigeria has made progress in Maize production from varieties that are resistant to diseases. The country currently produces annually, seven million tons of maize out of the eight million tons it requires,” he stated.

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He also made the point that it is only through innovations in technology, institutions, finance and markets that Nigeria can strive to compete globally in the agricultural sector.

To continuously boost productivity in the sector however, the AfDB president urged policymakers to provide new crop and livestock varieties to farmers, evolve a new approach to soil fertility management, encourage institutional investors to invest in agriculture, improve on financing and ensure titles for lands earmarked for agricultural purposes.

The summit was organised for stakeholders to deliberate on mechanisms for improved productivity in the sector, particularly in light of Nigeria's front-line role in the African food security equation.

The overarching objective of the two-day summit which was hosted by AgroNigeria under the theme; "Consolidating the Growth” was for stakeholders to track and enhance Nigeria's self sufficiency agenda, appraise advancements so far recorded, while beaming a searchlight on frameworks for sustainability.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of AgroNigeria, Mr. Richard-Mark Mbaram, the Feed Nigeria Summit is the country's most impactful agricultural assembly for strategic engagements between stakeholders in the space. I

In his words; “The Feed Nigeria Summit provides a unique platform for sectoral players to track and enhance Nigeria’s race towards self sufficiency in agricultural production.”

Speaking further, Mr. Mbaram stated that in its 2017 edition, the Feed Nigeria Summit focused centrally on the Federal Government's National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP) with the aim of connecting it with the farm gate.

“The rationale for this learning hinged on the need to make the programme a catalyst for increased agricultural productivity and larger economic revamp, particularly at a time when Nigeria was coping with recession,” he said.

In the same vein, Africa Director, International Centre For Tropical Agriculture (CIAT); Dr. Adebisi Araba in his keynote presentation underscored that in order that Nigeria can be taken out of poverty, the nation must see to the reform of the sector, by placing the private sector in the driver's seat.

According to him, a large population does not translate to a large market, but a population with the ability to live above poverty with high purchasing powers.

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Meanwhile, the federal government has revealed that Nigeria loses about N5.04 trillion annually to the frequent conflicts between herdsmen and farmers in different parts of the country.

The government, however, assured that it has developed a plan to permanently solve the farmers-herders’ conflicts which has claimed the lives of thousands over the years.

Key officials of the government stated this on Tuesday, June 19, when they held a media briefing on Nigeria's National Livestock Transformation Plan (2018–2027).

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Source: Naija.ng

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