Alhaji Bello Abubakar, National President of the Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN), has said it has been able to create 100,000 on-farm and off-farm jobs in 19 states through the implementation of the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP).
Speaking with newsmen in Abuja on Sunday, he said the government should place a ban on the importation of corn into the country.
Abubakar hinged his call for a seizure of importation of the crop on the fact that the country had consistently produced more maize than the capacity of all the processing plants in the country.
According to him, the processing capacity of maize in Nigeria is eight million tonnes and the farmers produced 15 million. He noted that they have been able to produce five million tonnes more in 2018.
His words: “Our last year’s production was 15 million tonnes and this year, we produced 20 million tonnes of maize and the required quantity for all maize processors in Nigeria is about eight million tonnes.
“Government intervention in the agricultural sector has put in place the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) to encourage local production of agricultural commodities including maize. MAAN is executing the ABP in 19 states which has empowered about 100,000 on and off-farm employment.
“This contribution of MAAN, if complemented by other large scale maize grain users, will create more than one million on- and off-farm employment in the maize value chain. Reacting to a publication by the Nigeria Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) that it received a request for licence from a firm called Grand Cereal to import maize into the country, Abubakar said such moves were counterproductive.
“We request that the importation of maize grain in any form is considered counter-productive to agricultural development in Nigeria and should be discouraged in its entirety.”
Rufus Ebegba, Director-General of NBMA, confirmed the receipt of a request for licence to import maize into the country, but said no permission had been granted.
Responding to questions on corn crop devastation by army worms last year, Abubakar said farmers were better equipped to deal with the menace this time round.
“Members of MAAN were trained and pesticides, fertiliser, seeds were given to them by the Federal Government and FAO to manage the pest. This year, there is no infestation of armyworm like last year,” he said.
According to NAN, Abubakar appealed to companies involved in maize importation to provide their preferred maize seedlings to local farmers to grow, to encourage production of improved varieties.
The association is made up of researchers, imput suppliers, marketers and every other stakeholder in the maize value chain.
We Produce 90% Of The Rice We Eat, Says Nigeria’s Minister Of Agriculture
Audu Ogbeh, Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, says 90 per cent of the rice consumed in the country is produced locally.
Ogbeh revealed this on Tuesday at the 2019 Annual Research Review and Planning meeting, which held at the Balarabe Tanimu Conference Hall at the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Zaria, Kaduna State.
Ogbeh, who was represented by Karima Babangida, the Director of Extension Services in the ministry, said this was achievable to local producers because of the backing they received from present administration, noting that the country is shifting “to eating what we grow, rather than eating imported food’’.
He said: “One very good example that we see today is the home-grown Nigerian rice. Hitherto, Nigeria has been a major and largest importer of rice from Thailand and this implies largest importer in the world.
“But today, we have been able to achieve a paradigm shift in the right direction and we are now producing 90 per cent of the rice we eat in the country, I think we should appreciate our farmers here.
“Nigeria does not only have the capacity to feed itself, it also becomes a major actor in agricultural exports to other African countries, Europe and American countries, including the Far East, especially China.”
He said other sectors of the agriculture economy are witnessing the same trend and that with joint efforts of stakeholders, the country can achieve balance of trade in food items.
He pointed out the need for all stakeholders to collaborate to continue to develop the great potential in the country.
Ibrahim Garba, Chairman of the occasion and the Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, noted that the future of the Nigerian economy lay on the shoulders of agriculture.
Garba, who was represented by Prof. Ezra Bako-Amans, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics), said: “Nigeria has all it takes to lead the African trans-border trade in food and fibre. It can cut its global share too in a number of crops it has comparative advantages in their production.
“The world’s cotton economy for instance, is about 1 trillion dollars. Needless to say, that cotton used to be one of the most important fibre crops in Nigeria, but down the line, we lost relevance on this crop.
“With the current renewed focus on agriculture, this glory can be reclaimed and Nigeria can have her fair share in the global cotton industry.”
How 45-year-old herdsman killed farmer
The Prosecutor, Insp Elisha Olusegun, told the court that the defendant committed the offence on March 13, at 12.30 p.m., at Ila-Orangun, Osun
Bello is facing a two-count charge of murder.
Olusegun said that the accused conspired with others at large and killed Oyebamiji, on his farm.
He said that the offence contravened the provisions of sections 324 and 319(1) of the Criminal Code Cap 34 vol. 11, Laws of Osun, 2002.
The plea of the defendant was not taken by the court.
In the ruling, Magistrate Mary Awodele, ordered that the defendant be kept behind bars in Ilesa, pending legal advice from the Office of the State Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Awodele adjourned the case until May 20, for mention., NAN reports.
Nigerian Newspapers: 10 things you need to know this Thursday morning
1. An Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure, on Wednesday sentenced Seidu Shakiru-Adeyemi to death by hanging for gruesomely killing his girlfriend, Khadijat Oluboyo, daughter of former deputy governor of the state, Lasisi Oluboyo.
Adeyemi was charged for killing his girlfriend, Khadijat, on July 2, 2018, and burying her inside his room at Aratusi, Oke-Aro area of Akure.
2, Three more presidential candidates have separately approached the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, demanding that it voids the result of the February 23 presidential election.
In their various petitions, the three presidential candidates, of the Hope Democratic Party, HDP, Chief Ambrose Owuru; Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM, Aminchi Habu and Coalition for Change, C4C, Geff Chizee Ojinka, urged the tribunal to invoke its powers and quash the declaration of President Buhari as the bonafide winner of the 2019 presidential election.
3. Barring last minute changes, the 9th National Assembly may not go for proper parliamentary election to choose its leaders.
This position followed the declaration by the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Wednesday, wherein it said there may be no voting, but consensus on that day to elect the leaders of the two chambers of the 9th National Assembly.
4. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has promised that the 2019 budget will be passed when plenary resumes on Tuesday, April 2.
He, however, made it clear that the National Assembly would not rubber stamp the N8.83trn 2019 budget saying, “We hope to pass the appropriation bill as soon as we reconvene plenary”
5. A coalition of 42 registered political parties in Kano State, under the aegis of Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), have expressed support for the re-election of Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje at the just concluded governorship election.
The CUPP chairman in the state, Alhaji Nuhu Isah, who paid a congratulatory visit to the governor, expressed dismay over a purported news conference held in Kano where it was reported that the coalition condemned the entire process due to alleged electoral irregularities.
6. Gunmen, on Wednesday attacked Suleiman Abubakar, Chairman of Correspondents’ chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Nasarawa state and abducted his wife, Yahanasu Abubakar.
Suleiman told newsmen that the incident happened at about 7 p.m. along Gudi-Garaku road in Akwanga Local Government Area of the state.
7. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Wednesday, in a Federal High Court, opened its case in the trial of a former Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Tuoyo Omatsuli, over alleged N3.6 billion fraud.
The anti-graft agency on Nov. 8, 2018, arraigned Omatsuli alongside Don Parker Properties Ltd., Francis Momoh, and Building Associates Ltd. before Justice Saliu Saidu on a 45-count charge bordering on the alleged offence.
8. The Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris, on Wednesday said the Federal Government shared N619.85 billion, as revenue generated in February to the three tiers of government.
The amount showed an increase of about N9.49 billion from what was shared in January.
9. The Founder of Daar Communications PLC, Raymond Dokpesi, on Wednesday said he was invited by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) on issues related to his International Passport.
Dokpesi told newsmen at the gate of the Immigration Head office in Abuja, shortly after an interrogation that lasted for about two hours, that the service wanted him to leave his passport with them.
10. Ahead of the Thursday supplementary poll, the Adamawa State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged its supporters to turn out massively for the poll.
The state PDP Chairman, Mr Tahir Shehu, alleged that the state government, led by the All Progressives Congress (APC), was planning to import thugs from Kaduna and Kano states to cause mayhem and manipulate the process to ensure victory for the APC candidate.
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