Nigeria, as a major maize producer in Africa, possesses immense potential for agricultural development. Maize, plays a vital role in the country’s economy, serving as a staple food crop, livestock feed, and raw material for various industries. However, to unlock the full potential of Nigeria’s maize value chain, it is crucial to engage all stakeholders involved, from farmers and processors to policymakers and consumers. Through effective collaboration and strategic engagement, Nigeria can build a resilient and sustainable maize value chain that benefits all participants and contributes to the country’s economic growth.
The recently concluded 5th Nigeria Maize Conference, organized by Bayer West-Central Africa, a multinational life science company, in collaboration with the Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN) brought together farmers, industry experts, and government representatives, to address the challenges facing the maize value chain and how stakeholders can work together to improve productivity.
The conference themed ‘Much More Maize: Engaging Stakeholders for a Sustainable Maize Value Chain’, attracted renowned experts, industry leaders, government officials, farmers, and other stakeholders dedicated to promoting the growth and development of the maize industry. It served as a pivotal platform for exchanging knowledge, sharing experiences, and fostering partnerships to address the challenges and capitalise on the opportunities within the maize value chain into the challenges and opportunities within the country’s maize sector.
At the conference, Country Sales Manager, Bayer Nigeria Ltd., Temitope Banjo, reiterated the aim of the conference to unite stakeholders in the sector and build a sustainable, collaborative synergy toward a secured future.
He stated, “Bayer remains committed to working closely with stakeholders, supporting the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices, promoting knowledge sharing, and fostering collaboration.’’
As we reflect on the key takeaways from this significant gathering, it becomes evident that the Nigeria Maize Conference has provided crucial insights to empower farmers and stakeholders while emphasizing the importance of continuous learning and adaptation.
A Platform for Knowledge and Collaboration
The Nigeria Maize Conference served as a hub of knowledge, where participants gained valuable insights into the latest advancements, best practices, and technological innovations in maize production. Renowned experts shared their experiences and expertise, addressing challenges such as pest control, market access, and agronomic practices. Farmers were equipped with practical tools and techniques to enhance productivity, reduce post-harvest losses, and improve the overall quality of their maize yields.
Stakeholder Engagement and Networking
One of the most significant aspects of the conference was the diverse representation of stakeholders, ranging from government officials to research institutions, financial institutions, input suppliers, and other major stakeholders. This inclusive environment facilitated meaningful dialogue, collaboration, and networking opportunities. Stakeholders engaged in fruitful discussions, exploring possibilities for more collaborative engagement, accessing finance and credit facilities, and innovative farming. Such interactions fostered a sense of collective responsibility and commitment towards the growth and development of the maize value chain.
Central to the Nigeria Maize Conference was the relaunching of Dekalb DK777 a hybrid maize variety developed by Bayer. It is a medium-early maturing variety with a yield potential of 10-12 tons per hectare. It is tolerant to Maize Lethal Necrosis (MLN) disease and has good tolerance to leaf diseases. DK777 has a flint grain type which is good for poundability. It has a strong stem and stands well. The cobs are uniform in placement and easy to harvest. Dekalb DK777 offers high yield potential, tolerance to MLN disease, good tolerance to leaf diseases, flint grain type, uniform cob placement and many more.
Adapting to Market Dynamics
In addition to technical knowledge, the Nigeria Maize Conference addressed critical aspects of market dynamics. Participants gained insights into market trends, consumer preferences, value addition, and export opportunities. Experts shed light on the importance of value chain integration, quality control, branding, and accessing premium markets. This comprehensive understanding of market dynamics enabled farmers and stakeholders to align their production and marketing strategies, creating a competitive advantage in both domestic and international markets.
The Way Forward: A Commitment to Continuous Learning:
As the Nigeria Maize Conference concluded, the key takeaway for all participants is the importance of continuous learning and adaptation. Agriculture is an ever-evolving field, and staying updated with the latest innovations and industry trends is crucial. Farmers are encouraged to embrace new technologies, invest in research and development, and participate in capacity-building programs. Stakeholders are urged to support initiatives that foster collaboration, knowledge exchange, and skill development.
The Nigeria Maize Conference, organized by Bayer, has undoubtedly made a lasting impact on the maize chain in Nigeria. By providing a platform for knowledge-sharing, collaboration, and empowerment, the conference has equipped farmers and stakeholders with the necessary innovative tools and insights to navigate challenges and seize opportunities. As the industry moves forward, the lessons learned and connections made during this event will play a pivotal role in transforming maize production in Nigeria, leading to sustainable growth, increased productivity, and improved livelihoods for all involved.