…As Nigeria prepares to account for 4.7% of Africa’s Maize imports
Nigeria’s maize production capacity is projected to experience a growth of about 1.32% in the next ten years according to a document from Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations Agricultural Outlook available to MSMEsToday. This implies that there are rooms for more Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise to invest in maize production as maize production is expected to increase from 11million tons in 2010-2019 to 12.8 million tons in 2029.
Maize is one of the oldest plants that humans have domesticated. It is also known as corn, the word used mainly in the United States, the world’s largest producer, consumer and exporter. The success of maize is partly due to its high productivity and its exceptional geographic adaptability. In Nigeria, maize is generally categorized into one of two broad groups: yellow and white. Globally, yellow maize accounts for the bulk of the total world maize market. It is grown in most northern hemisphere countries and is predominantly used for animal feed. White maize is produced for food in Latin America, southern Africa, and south Asia under a wide range of climatic conditions. Market prices are usually higher for white than for yellow maize because consumers perceive it as a superior good.
Finding shows that Nigeria accounted for 13.80% of the total Africa maize production in the last ten years. It is projected that as Africa maize production increase by 1.66% to 96.6Mt in 2029 from 79.9 Mt in the last ten years, Nigeria share is expected to remains at 13% range.
However, over the years, there is huge gap between the supply of maize and demand for maize, while the gap is being filled with little importation to meet up with the demand. Between the periods of 2010-2019, maize production surpassed consumption by 0.82%. Nigerian consumed 10.9 Mt of maize out of 11.0Mt produced during the period under review. Notwithstanding, it is projected that demand for maize in the next ten years will surpass supply of maize at a higher rate than in the past decade. Maize consumption is therefore projected to grow by 2.23 to reach 14.1Mt in 2029 while production is projected to stand at 12.8Mt in the same period. This indicates that demand for maize will surpass supply for maize by 1.3Mt in 2029. Industry experts say that the above projections will be driven by a combination of factors including feed demand, biofuel policies, and human consumption.
In Nigeria, feed use is projected to grow marginally by1.79% to 2.4million tons in 2029 compared with 2.1million tons in the last ten years and to account for 17% increase in maize consumption during the period under review. Maize as food for consumption dropped by 0.75% in the last ten years (2010-2019) and is projected to maintain the same level by 2029.
There seems to be a huge growth potential for Nigeria but the question is whether government and the private sector are ready to exploit the gap that exists between the supply and demand side for maize by providing right policies, enabling environment, financing for farmers, the right information, education and extension services and improved variety of seedlings, etc, that farmers and all the players in the value chain require to upscale for the purpose of creating an equilibrium between demand and supply. MSMEs therefore should be encouraged and supported by government to take advantage of the gap that exist between demand and supply for maize to plant more maize to meet up with the demand rather than spending billion in foreign currency on importation of maize. If the narrative remains the same within the projected period under review, MSMEsToday gathered that importation of maize is projected to increase from 0.4Mt in 2010-2019 to 1.4Mt in 2029. This represents a growth rate of about 14.7%. It means that Nigeria will account for 4.7% of Africa maize importation by 2029.