The Federal Government has advanced plans to cut down wheat importation by 20 per cent and save over N127 billion from its annual wheat import bill of over N635 billion as from 2014.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Akinwumi Adesina dropped the hint in Lokoja during a two-day training workshop on cassava bread organised for master bakers from the North Central zone, stressing that government took the stance in order to reduce the bill and implement its policy of 20 per cent substitution of wheat with cassava flour in bread production.
The Minister who was represented by his technical adviser on cassava value chain, Toyin Adetunji said that the master bakers’ training was part of measures aimed at developing cassava industry, create jobs and boost the income of the people.
NaijaAgroNet reports that Nigeria has become the pace setter in cassava production with a capacity of 40 million metric tons per annum, and being trailed by Brazil, Thailand and Indonesia.
“The challenge to us as a nation is that Thailand, which is the third largest producer of cassava, controls over 80 percent of the world market of cassava starch. Hence, there is need for us to play our role as a leading producer nation,” he said.
He disclosed that President Goodluck Jonathan had approved N10 billion as cassava bread development fund while the training of the 770 master bakers cut across the six geo-political zones with a minimum of six bakers from each local government area of the country.
... Linking agrobiz, people & technology