LAGOS, NIGERIA — Flour Mills of Nigeria (FMN) has partnered with Corteva Agriscience, the agriculture division of DowDuPont, to work together on key aspects of the maize value chain in Nigeria. Specifically, the companies have pledged to focus on promoting modern farming techniques and practices, capacity development and knowledge transfer for the local production and use of improved and quality inputs, including seeds and crop protection.

“We are excited at the prospects of this partnership and what we can achieve,” said John Coumantaros, chairman of Flour Mills of Nigeria. “Corteva Agriscience is a globally renowned company with a wealth of experience in crop protection and biotechnology solutions, and will introduce new and exciting seed production techniques that will help develop the maize hybrid seed market in Nigeria. Over the years, FMN has invested heavily in the primary processing, aggregation and distribution of locally grown grains such as maize, soybeans, rice, sorghum and wheat, and are passionate about strengthening the capabilities of small-scale farmers, even as we continue to seek out newer ways of deepening our supply chain.”

Paul Gbededo, group managing director for Flour Mills of Nigeria, said the company is currently in the sustainability testing phase, and will next look to establish a world-class hybrid maize production plant in Nigeria.

“Our business is ultimately about providing for the livelihood of millions of Nigerian families, by ensuring that they have access to great food, and as such, we are focused on building a business that caters for not just their nutritional needs but enriches their lives,” Gbededo said.

Meanwhile, Prabdeep Bajwa, commercial unit director of Africa Middle East for Corteva Agriscience, said the partnership endorses DowDuPont’s “commitment to collaboration across the food chain to transform the role of agriculture in society and enhance the livelihood of farmers in Nigeria.”

“Our company is investing in innovation, drawing on our knowledge of genetics, chemistry and digital to give farmers in Africa more and better products and ensuring their success,” Bajwa said.

Flour Mills of Nigeria said it already has begun working with Corteva Agriscience to develop demonstration farm plots in Nigeria to showcase hybrid maize varieties. Plans call for additional test sites to begin soon in Kware, Niger, Kaduna, Kano, Oyo, Nassarawa, Bauchi, Plateau States and the Federal Capital Territory, the company said.

According to Flour Mills of Nigeria, the national average maize yield in Nigeria is about 1.5 tonnes per hectare, which is below the average of 2 tonnes per hectare in Africa and 10 tonnes per hectare in the United States. The adoption of hybrid seed and use of improved farming inputs and techniques is expected to increase maize yields by about 100% in the next five years, Flour Mills of Nigeria said.