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The Maize Farmers Association of Nigeria (MAAN) says it hopes to produce about 25 million metric tonnes of maize during the 2019 harvest season following promising federal government and stakeholders’ support.

Alhaji Bello Abubakar, the National President of the association, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Tuesday.

“Our target for this year’s production for maize is 25 million metric tonnes because of the additional manpower and other support that we are getting from different organisations, especially from the Federal Government.

“Last year, we produced 20 million metric tonnes in spite of some challenges that we were faced with and this year, we hope we will not experience those challenges.

“Some of the challenges included late supply of input to us.

“There was also the challenge in mechanisation and extension services.

“We are planning to start everything at the right time this year.

“We have already provided some tractors and other implements to our farmers so that we can tackle the problem of late mechanisation or land preparation for the wet season.

“Other implements like planter and harvesters have been provided to our farmers so that we will start our planting at the right time.

“With elimination of these challenges, we are hoping that we will experience improved maize production this year,’’ Abubakar said.

The national president said that the extension services department of the association was training farmers on post-harvest techniques to avoid chemical residue in their final produce.

On the alleged request by Grand Cereals Ltd. to import maize into the country, Abubakar said that the association had sent out letters to the ministers of agriculture and rural development, environment and science and technology to register “our displeasure’’.

He said that the ministers had promised that nobody would get any permission to import maize.

The national president assured citizens as well as companies using maize as their raw materials of massive production of maize in 2019 to meet up with the increasing demand.

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