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Business News of Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Source: Nigerian Tribune

Lagos farmers seek government’s support on local maize production

Farmers in Lagos State have called on the state government to support them in the area of local maize production so that the idea of importing maize would be jettisoned.

The farmers, while speaking through their representative, Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Lagos State chapter, Femi Oke, criticised the recent maize importation approval issued to four companies, namely: Chi Farms Limited, Premier Feeds Company Limited, Crown Flour Mills Limited, and Wacot Limited.

They further noted that there are series of inherent challenges bedeviling local maize production, and farmers needed support from the government to address the trend.

The farmers further stressed that importation of the commodity would neither solve these challenges nor improve the important sub-sector of the Nigerian agricultural value chain.

Speaking on the development, Oke said that the challenges encountered with local maize production should be totally addressed.

According to him, lifting the ban on maize importation would not solve the problems.

“There are a lot of issues to be looked into concerning maize production.

“These include lack of hybrid seeds, irrigation, poor storage system, diseases and pests, lack of machinery and transportation.

“For Nigeria to meet her demand in maize production, things must change; we must support our farmers.

“Maize is a major raw material; it constitutes between 50 percent and 70 percent of poultry feeds,’’ he said.

The chairman noted that the association was fully in support of the ban and would prefer a solution to the problems, as opposed to lifting the ban.

“The government must have seen that the country cannot meet up with demands from the farmers, thus the reason why the approval was given to the companies.

“We support the ban on importation of maize; we want the ban to remain.

“The government should look into this issue affecting production and assist farmers to overcome it,” the AFAN Chairman added.

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