The Maize Farmers Association of Nigeria says production of the commodity increased from eight million tonnes to 20 million tonnes in Nigeria between 2015 and 2018.
The president of the association, Bello Abubakar, said this at the Nigeria Maize Conference on Wednesday in Abuja.
The event, which has as its theme, “Integrated Pest Management: Key to Profitable Maize Farming,” was organised by a company, Bayer Middle Africa.
“As at 2015, we had eight million tones while in 2018 it increased to 20 million tonnes,” Mr Abubakar said.
He attributed the increase to the introduction of technology into farming and the researches made by the association.
“Everyday, we are making research on how to improve maize production in the country,” he said
“Now we have seed companies that came with varieties that will give from eight to 12 tonnes per acre,” he said.
He applauded Bayer Middle Africa for its interest in maize production.
He said one of the biggest challenges facing the association is Agronomic practice.
Agronomic practices are a vital part of farming systems. These are practices that farmers incorporate to improve soil quality, enhance water usage, manage crops and improve the environment.
Agronomic practices focus on better fertilizer management as a way of improving agricultural practices.
Bayer’s Commitment to Maize Production.
Bayer said it took two approaches to improve the productivity of maize in West and Central Africa.
The approaches are Intergrated Pest Management (IPM) and Intergrated Weed Management (IWM).
Speaking on their efforts to improve crop production, the Regulatory and Development Manager of Bayer Middle Africa, Ahmed Bello, said IPM is the combination of different approaches to controlling pesticide on maize feed.
Mr Bello said the aim of IPM is to reduce pest pressure and keep them at low levels.
“IPM has been adopted increasingly as a tool for managing resistant pests” he said
“It involves the use of a range of diversified control techniques, embracing physical, chemical and biological methods in an Intergrated fashion without excessive reliance on any one method.”
He said there are different ways to solve the problem of pests, not only with chemicals but with biological and cultural practices.
Mr Bello said his company was committed to bringing solution to farmers on the menace of pests and weeds.
According to him, IPM’s components include Intergrated Weed Management (IWM). This management helps to control weeds in the farm
Speaking on the IWM, Ekea Udensi described it as a tool for managing herbicide-resistant weeds.
Mr Udensi is a lecturer at the Department of Crop Science and Animal Science in the University of Port Harcourt. He was also the one of the speakers at the event.
“The purpose of IWM is to reduce weed pressure and keep weeds at low levels,” he said.
Bayer Middle Africa is a company involved in pharmaceuticals, healthcare and crop science.
It said its interest in maize production is because maize is a major crop in West Africa and Nigeria.
Maize is grown in many parts of the world, with USA, China and Brazil the leading producers.
Highlights of the event include the launch of Lagoon 575SC, which is a herbicide; and Belt Expert, a pesticide.