Nigeria imported its second-largest volume of maize in a decade in 2019, maintaining the same level it recorded the previous year, despite calls by farmers for a restriction on the importation of the cereal, data analysed by PREMIUM TIMES show.
Data obtained from the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that Nigeria imported 400,000 tons of maize in 2019 as it did in 2018.
That figure, recorded separately in both years, is the second-highest maize import volume for the country since 2009.
The highest was recorded in 2016 when 650,000 tons of maize was imported by the country.
Since its introduction to Africa in the 1500s, maize has become one of Africa’s dominant food crops.
Nigeria is Africa’s top producer of maize, followed by Tanzania, according to the International Insitute for Tropical Agriculture. But the country is also a leading importer as demand for animal feed grows in the country.
Nigeria’s annual need for maize is estimated at 15 million metric tons while the country’s local production is 10.5million tons.
Data to show maize importation in Nigeria in the last 10 years