Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele yesterday said Nigeria would attain self-sufficiency in maize production by 2022.
He stated this Katsina at the launch of the 2021 maize wet season farming and first maize pyramid in Nigeria.
He said the country witnessed remarkable increase in maize production during the past six years with support of the Anchor Borrower Programme (ABP).
He said the CBN would support farmers to cultivate over 500,000 hectares of maize in 2021 through the programme.
Emefiele however said the feat was achievable with the synergy between stakeholders and the resilience of farmers.
“This event symbolises our commitment towards enabling self sufficiency in maize production by 2022 in Nigeria,” he said.
He said maize is one of the priority crops under the ABP adding that Nigeria, with a population of about 200 million people, must end food import which has continued to drain the country’s external reserve, created unemployment and disrupted commodity value chain.
Emefiele said the deployment of technology facilitated farmers’ enumeration, biometric capture and GPS mapping of farms to enhance efficiency of the programme.
“The 2018 wet season witnessed remarkable increase in the number of beneficiaries, as about 67,181 farmers were empowered to cultivate 110, 832 hectares across 36 states.
“In 2019, it was 100,000 hectares, and that of 2020 was 250,000 hectares cultivated, but we hope to increase the target in 2021 to 500,000 hectares,” he said.
He said the CBN would introduce the use of high yield seeds and mechanised farming, among others to achieve the target.
Therefore, he urged Nigerian youths to embrace agriculture as a means of livelihood.
In his remark, the national president of Maize Association of Nigeria, Dr Bello Abubakar, urged farmers to repay loans granted to them in good time for the progress of the programme.