The Maize Farmers Association of Nigeria on Thursday said it would produce 25 million metric tonnes of the commodity next year.
The National President of the association, Bello Abubakar, disclosed this an interview with newsmen in Abuja.
Abubakar said 50,000 hectares were being cultivated for maize production nationwide to meet the targeted output.
He said: “Assessing our farmers under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programmes and other farmers, the nation’s maize production is estimated to at 20 million tonnes.
“This will be great achievement in terms of maize production in Nigeria as it will, of course, meet our local demands.
“But we are targeting 25 million tonnes of the produce next year because we are fighting maize importation.
“If there is a ban on maize importation, we have to increase and enhance our production.
“We are working closely with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Central Bank of Nigeria to empower our farmers to produce more than what we have now.”
On the possibility of army worm attack, Abubakar said the association had put in place proactive measures to tackle any outbreak.
Part of the measures, he said, was a committee inaugurated by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, recently.
He said: “The army worm has affected our farms in the past.
“But the good news is that there are plans on ground to fight it.
“There is a taskforce, which was inaugurated by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh.
“I am one of the members of the committee.
“And the committee has started working on how to fight its menace.
“We have enlightened our farmers on how to deal with the issue in case of attack on their farms and a lot of sensitisation is ongoing.
“By next year, we hope that this issue is gone because we have been collaborating with other organisations such as the Food and Agriculture Organisation.”
Abubakar said the Association had provided planters, threshers and harvesters to members, adding that it had also trained them on how to use them.
He said the association was also collaborating with Business Innovation Facility on how to collate data to correctly assess members’ output.