By Mike Adeyemi
The Kwara State Maize Association of Nigeria disclosed that first maize pyramid in Kwara will be unveiled next year.
The state Chairman, Engr. David Sunday Aremu stated this while answering questions from our reporter in his office on Saturday.
According to him, maize production in Kwara State has evolved in recent time as production capacity hits over 200 metric tones.’
“In the North central , Kwara is ranked number one on production ladder by the Central Bank of Nigeria. We are number three in the whole Nigeria after Katsina and Kaduna.
” For the first time in Nigeria, we had maize pyramid in Katsina State. By next year it’s going to be Kwara State. Kwara will unveils first pyramid next year, ” Aremu revealed.
He added that farmers in the state were able to achieve the feat under the Anchor Borrower Scheme of the Federal Government as over 20,000 farmers have registered in Kwara.
“Maize pyramids are indeed rare, but Kwara have been able to achieve this through synergy among stakeholders and the resilience of our farmers. Success is indeed infectious, and this will surely spur us to do more.
“We started real maize business activities in Kwara in 2018 when we got over 117 inputs and 333 hectares for 102 farmers from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the Central Bank under Anchor Borrower.
” Some farmers were given 5 hectares worth of N774 naira inputs then. It was subsequently increased to 933 farmers per hectares that benefited in the state. In 2020, we were given 328 hectares for 3,258 farmers.
“In fact, it was a progressive moment as we had increase in numbers of farmers. We have over 20,000 registered farmers in Kwara as of today,” he said.
Aremu added that the Kwara State government also partook in the Anchor Borrower Scheme by giving a 50 per cent subsidy on inputs to farmers.
“In 2019, the state government partook in Anchor Borrower Scheme and we were given 50 hectares by the Kwara State government. By then they gave us 8 NPK fertilizers and chemical.
“The Governor gave a 50 per cent subsidy on inputs to all commodity farmers. When we started we couldn’t get more than 11 metric tons.But, as of last year, we were able to realize over 200 metric tons of maize produced in Kwara.
” Kwara State has comparative advantage in maize production and can feed the nation. We are so lucky in Kwara as it’s ranked as most secured state in Nigeria if we go by the data. Too, we have a favourable climate. We can have two planting season for maize per annum,” he stated.
The Chairman, however, acknowledged that the major problem confronting m Kwara maize farmers is lack of fund.
“At times we have drought, but delay in getting supply of inputs is a big challenge for Kwara maize farmers. But the major problem is lack of fund,” he lamented.
By Mike Adeyemi