Mr Olatunji Adenola, President, Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN), has appealed to the Federal Government to provide irrigation facilities to help improve maize production across the country.
Adenola said this in Lagos on Thursday that every state required functional irrigation facilities.
He said that farmers needed support in areas where agricultural produce could increase and be readily available all through the year.
Adenola, however, commended the Federal Government for putting in place a system where farmers who had access to irrigation system were provided with incentives to enhance production.
“ This year, government is already releasing inputs, such as, maize seeds, fertilizers and agrochemicals, through the Growth Enhancement Scheme to farmers.
“Government is only assisting farmers in areas where they already have functional irrigation system.’’
He said that if all the states in the country could have access to irrigation system, it would help improve the agricultural sector in the country.
“ Government should also try to cover parts of the country where irrigation systems are not available.
“This will ensure food security across the country and also increase the level of production of food per year. ‘’
Adenola said that it would be of advantage if the association could have access to storage facilities, where farmers would store their produce during harvest and release into the market gradually.
“The association is looking at a system where we can store maize specifically at the period of harvest and release into the market all through the year.
“This will enable us regulate inflow of produce into the market, which is the best way to control inflation and prices of food items generally, ‘’ he said.
Adenola also appealed to government to grant maize farmers direct access to silos for proper storage of harvested produce.
He said provision of silos would also prevent post-harvest losses.