Cassava Seedlings Distributed to Farmers

Abuja, The Common Fund for Commodities through its technical partner in Nigeria, Farm and Infrastructure Foundation has embarked on the distribution of cassava seedlings (419 types) to farmers in Mararaba, Nassarawa state.

A statement from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said the cassava project is a pilot programme being financed and supported by the Common Fund for Commodities, an Intergovernmental financial institution established within the framework of the United Nations Headquarters in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Representative of Farm and infrastructure,Mrs. Toyin Adetunji explained that the project was meant to upgrade traditional cassava products for urban markets and the development of industrial marketing channels for processed cassava products as a low cost substitute for wheat that would provide realistic opportunities for Nigerian Small holder farmers and processors.

The team pointed out that it is expected to lead to the development of supply lines for High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) for bakery and confectionary markets as well as improve the competitiveness of garri and increase income opportunities for small processors.

According to statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), worldwide production of cassava roots in 2005 amounted to 45 million metric tones and up to 49 MT as at 2007 while Africa accounted for 50% of global production.

This project intends to develop and promote efforts on selected regional markets in Benin, Nigeria and Sierra Leone where cassava could effectively compete with cereals.

The projecting executing agencies are Common Fund for Commodities, Federal Ministry of Commerce and Industry, FAO,Cassava Processors Association of Nigeria (CAPAN), Cassava Equipment Fabricators Association of Nigeria (CEFAN) with the Farm and Infrastructure Foundation providing the technical backup.

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