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Nigerians are looking for maize to eat.

The demand, according to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, is estimated at almost 8 million tonnes annually.

It has become so lucrative that demand is practically strangling supply.

At the moment, the country is able to produce between 7 million and 7.2 million tonnes and the shortfall is imported.

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According to the Director of the Federal Department of Agricultural Extension, Mrs. Karima Babangida, the situation needs to change as import depletes the much-needed foreign exchange.

“This is a situation that is unacceptable and inimical to our economic development as a nation. Therefore, there is a huge market opportunity that can absorb additional local production,” Babangida said during a seven-day training workshop for women on modern skills of maize production, processing and marketing.

The training, held at the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Zaria was organised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The aim is to boost the government's drive towards economic diversification.

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