Toward for the production of bread from Cassava

Nigeria continued, a high price for the economy's to pay dependence on strange nations for the supply material of the main food consumer durables. In case of bread that there is a necessity, hybrid cassava flour as to develop means of the avoidance of the difficulties, which are caused by the new global migration in the price of wheat.

The global migration in the food prices would not have affected unfavorably Nigeria, if it were a producing economy; rather the nation the crisis ausgen5utzt to have, in order to cause more wealth, economic development increased and improves the welfare of its citizenry. In the same vein the nation did not become the new bakers' suffered; strike, if them had developed an alternative to wheat flour in bread production. In the country it seems, an exaggerated respect for cassava flour in the comparison with composition or cassava flour gives. People have burdened their minds with the skewed view that cassava cannot be used to make bread and, based on this view, have summarily dismissed the use of cassava for the production of bread. The government, the researchers, the bakers and other keepers must the giant task of the scattering of this rather deeply lying misunderstanding shoulder.

Cassava, known in botanical circles as manihot esculenta crantz, is imbued with multifaceted potentials, but the actualisation of the economic and nutritious potentials depends on the volition and action of humans. The clarion call is for Nigerians to turn to composite or cassava flour, not necessarily as a replacement for wheat flour, but as a diversification alternative aimed at forestalling future bakers' strikes, reducing the cost of bread, boosting the economy and ultimately bettering the lives of the populace. On this note, Sanni Tayo, the chief technologist of the Botany Department, Lagos State University (LASU), called for adequate funding to enable researchers pry into the deep recesses of nature to unearth and magnify the veiled potentials of cassava, thereby developing high-quality hybrids of cassava for bread production.

The fact that cassava is produced in large quantities in Nigeria it supports arguments after the production of bread of cassava. Nigeria among the largest producers of cassava in the world, and into 2002, it was built in a number first in proportion to it produced 34 million tons of cassava. Nervous disorder the organization of food and agriculture by the United Nations (FAO), shows that in Nigeria, " the production of cassava builds into a number is first, followed after the production of sweet potato to 27 million tons into 2002, the sorghum to 7 million tons, by millet to 6 million tons and by rice to 5 million tonnes." It is not similar on in the case the cassava, Nigeria depends heavily on foreign nations for the supply of wheat flour. To above 4 million tons of the import of annually, Nigeria it went by the greatest single importer of wheat from the USA afterward, into 1992, it raised prohibition 1987 it established on the importation of wheat. The ban was meant to encourage and enhance local production of wheat.

If the resources pumped into the importation of wheat flour were channelled into the local production and processing of cassava, it is likely that we would have succeeded not only in making bread more affordable to the masses but in also providing more jobs for the teeming unemployed in the country as well as increasing Nigeria's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The federal government, through collaboration with research institutions such as International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO) and National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI),Umahia, can boost cassava production locally. While research institutes such as FAO have set a conservative production target of 60 million tonnes of cassava for Nigeria by 2020, some other experts, extrapolating from historical production levels, have put the target at 150 million tonnes by 2020.
The production of bread from cassava is a veritable measure the government could employ to forestall bakers' strikes. Nigerians are now accustomed to the periodic industrial action of the Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria. Just last year the association went on a week-long strike after President Yar'Adua did not succumb to their request of authorising the flour millers to reduce the prices of flour. This year again, the association has embarked on another strike. According to Lateef Oguntoyinbo, the Lagos State Chairman of the association, the strike stemmed from the government's failure to address the hike in flour price against the backdrop of the global food crisis. The prices of bread in the country soared by 25 percent during the period. The minister of Commerce and Industry, Charles Ugwuh, hinged the hike in flour price to the global food crisis, saying, "Whatever may be the cause of the global food crisis its impact on Nigeria is real."
From the above, the onus is on the entirety of Nigerians to ask one pertinent question: For how long shall we continue to catch cold each time the global economy sneezes? Perhaps, it is for as long as the Nigerian economy heavily and inextricably depends on foreign nations for the supply of major food commodities such as wheat and rice. The nation does not have to sneeze each time the global economy catches cold once potent strategies are put in place to cushion the effects of the global "economic cold". One of such strategies is resorting to massive cassava production and exploiting its dormant multifaceted potentials. According to Ghana's Minister of Food and Agriculture, Ernest Akobuor Debrah, Ghana has started deliberating on the use of composite flour for bread production, with the composite flour containing 20 percent of hybrid cassava and 80 percent of wheat. What is Nigeria waiting for?
Some concerns have been raised about the nutritional level of cassava as compared to wheat. According to Richard T. Sayre, a researcher at Ohio University, USA, the protein-to-energy ratio in cassava is dismally low, as typical cassava-based diet gives below 30 percent of the minimum daily protein intake and provides only 10-20 percent of the needed quantities of zinc, iron, and vitamin A and E. In an interview with Business Day, Sanni Tayo, shared Sayre's view, adding that cassava can be toxic and contains a relatively small amount of gluten, which is necessary for consistency in bread. He, however, stated that with some genetic modification, a hybrid cassava with high gluten and high nutrients can be produced, only that the cost of production may be much. "We may want to produce a hybrid cassava that is highly nutritious and high in gluten. However, the cost of producing high-gluten cassava can even be more than that of the ordinary wheat. Since what we are trying to minimise is cost, the project may turn out to be counterproductive," Tayo remarked.
Chris Deillion, the manager of Deillion Bakery, expressed doubt about the acceptability of cassava bread or bread made from composite flour. He argued that consumers are accustomed to wheat flour and the change to cassava flour would be difficult. "People first eat with their eyes before they eat with their mouth. Their taste buds have become accustomed to wheat flour and changing to composite flour would be very difficult," he stressed.
For Deillion, it is myopic to focus on just the hike in wheat flour to the detriment of other vital elements that go into the production of bread. These elements include electricity, sugar, and packaging materials. Focusing on power, he registered his dissatisfaction with the epileptic nature of power supply in the country. "Our generator has been on since 3 00AM and it will remain like this until night," he lamented. Another Lagos-based baker, who pleaded anonymity, opined: "Cassava is already being used for a lot of things, for instance 'fufu', 'lafun' and 'garri'. If we now use it to make bread, we are multiplying its usage. The question is whether the farmers would be able to cope with the demand for cassava if we turn to it for the production of bread."
Martin Oke, a political science student of Lagos State University (LASU), could not just imagine himself eating cassava bread. "If I don't know that the bread is made from cassava I will eat it, but if I know ahead of time, I won't. I believe the taste won't be as good as the one from wheat," he asserted. But Ifeoma Okonkwo, a retailer of wheat flour at Orile market, has a different opinion, "I don't mind eating cassava bread if it would taste nice and be cheaper than the one made from wheat." Asked if wheat flour should be abandoned, she remarked: "Instead of abandoning wheat flour for cassava because of the rising wheat price, bakers may consider buying the two types of flour, produce bread with them and then allow the consumers to make their choice."

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