…as production hits 200 metric tones
By Abdul Momoh
The Kwara State Maize Association of Nigeria has said all is set to unveils first maize pyramid in the state next year.
Speaking on this development, 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 the 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 first maize pyramid in Katsina State. By next year its going to be Kwara State. Kwara will unveils first pyramid next year, ” Aremun assured.
He added that farmers in the state were able to achieve fit under the auspices of 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 since 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 increased in numbers of farmers. We have gotten over 20,000 registered farmers in Kwara as of today,” he said.
Aremun added that the Kwara State government also partook in the Anchor Borrower by given a 50 per cent subsidy on inputs to Kwara 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 made a 50 per cent subsidies on inputs to all commodity farmers. When we started we couldn’t get more than 11 metric tones. As of last year, we were able to realize over 200 metric tones 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 its ranked most secured state in Nigeria if we go by the data. Too, we have a favorable climate. We can have two planting season of maize per annum,” the maize farmers boss stressed.
He however acknowledged that parts of bane before Kwara maize farmers is lack of funds among other things.
“At time we had drought, but delayment in getting inputs supply is a big challenge before Kwara maize farmers. But the major problem is lack of fund,” he said.
Hike in price of cooking gas worries Kwara residents
By Abdul Momoh
Residents of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital have expressed worry over the recent hike in the price of cooking gas.
Speaking with our reporter on Saturday, the people said the continued rise in the price of the commodity had further worsened the economy of many families.
A housewife, Halimat Garuba, expressed surprise that a 12.5-kg cylinder she refilled with N4500 in December, now costs N5000, while 6.5kg previously sold for N2000, now costs N2500.
“I am surprised over this astronomical increase in the price of the commodity,” she said.
Garuba appealed to the Federal Government to urgently intervene, since the development was attributed to the high foreign exchange rate.
She said she might return to kerosene stove, if the cost remained high after exhausting her last refill.
“The problem with kerosene stove is that it stains the pot and does not cook fast like gas. Government should please intervene immediately before the situation gets out of hand,” she appealed.
A restaurant operator at Stadium Road, Emiley Oladokun said the price hike had affected her business, adding that she was spending a lot on cooking gas.
A civil servant, Bose Oguntokun, described the situation as very worrisome and urged government to intervene to put an end to it.
“Nigerians have yet to recover from hardship caused by COVID-19 pandemic, which crippled many businesses and rendered many people jobless.
“Without cooking gas, many families will not be able to get food on their table. Government should intervene to save Kwarans from further exploitation by cooking gas dealers,” Oguntokun said.
A cooking gas dealer in the city, Okafor Nwachukwu , blamed the unfortunate situation on the failure by the Central Bank of Nigeria to create a dedicated window for foreign exchange for the importation of cooking gas.
“Importers of cooking gas source foreign exchange at high price and this affects the price of the product. The cost of importation dictates the price it gets to consumers because no importer runs a charitable organisation,” he said.