Worth Addition Key to Cassava Revolution in Nigeria

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has stated that for the nation to spice up cassava production, it should pay extra attention than ever before to value addition.

The Director Common, IITA, Dr. Peter Hartmann, mentioned other than bettering farmers’ incomes, value addition has the ability to address the increasing degree of unemployment in Nigeria.

He spoke at a stakeholders’ forum in Ibadan, Oyo State, to mark the end of the CFC-funded Cassava Worth Chain Project in Nigeria carried out by IITA and its national partners.

Hartman, who was represented by a scientist with IITA, Dr. Gbassey Tarawali, mentioned the establishment of cassava processing centres in Masaka, Lafia, and Kuje for the production of garri, fufu, cassava flour and starch is producing constructive outcomes by providing new streams of incomes to the benefiting communities.

He added that with an annual production of about 44 million tonnes of cassava, Nigeria was in the present day the world’s chief of cassava, but confused that the country was but to harness the maximum benefit from cassava attributable to inadequate processing amenities, and stated this subjects the crop to seasonal glut.

Everlasting Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Funding, Dr. Abubakar Abdullahi, mentioned worth addition to cassava would assist flip around the fortunes of farmers.

The permanent secretary stated cassava provided large alternatives that might broaden the nation’s economic viability and enhance its competitiveness notably in the non-oil sector.

“Nigeria as the largest world producer of cassava can profit immensely from this great crop if concerted efforts were made at harnessing its numerous potentials,” he mentioned,

“Let me name on all key players within the cassava industry and prospective buyers to take a cue from the cassava prototype tasks with a view to putting in standard processing crops to utilise the volume of cassava produced in the nation as a supply of income,” he said.

Nigeria’s Challenge Coordinator, Mrs. Omololu Ope-ewe, said that the approach used in the mission was to strengthen farmers, processors and entrepreneurs by means of the introduction of appropriate technologies.

“The cassava challenge was very profitable in all venture websites namely Kuje (Shabach Food), Mararaba (Joe Beg Farms) and Angwa village in Lafia, Nasarawa State. All the challenge websites got varied intervention measures including building structures, cassava processing tools, packaging materials etc. The products from the websites had been accepted by NAFDAC,” she said.

The IITA-CFC Regional Coordinator, Prof. Lateef Sanni, known as on the beneficiaries to benefit from the processing centres. He urged policymakers and the non-public sector to make the most of the untapped alternatives available within the cassava sector, especially processing.

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