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Thursday, October 3, 2013

FG cassava industrialization policy boosts production-Minister

Anthony Nwakaegho/NaijaAgroNet

Nigeria has made an in-road into the mass production of cassava for both export and domestic consumption due to the Federal Government cassava industrialization policy on agriculture.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina made this revelation to NaijaAgroNet, stressing that the country’s cassava has risen from the hitherto close to zero per cent of global trade in cassava-based products to become a money-spinner for Nigeria.

Adesina said that farmers in Nigeria have benefited from the cassava industrialization policy that saw over 24 million stem cuttings of cassava being distributed free of charge in 2012, which has now turned the country to be the largest processor of cassava in the world.

According to him, the ministry also embarked on the cassava flour substitution policy to replace some of the wheat used in making wheat in bread and confectionaries.

“Never before had cassava bread been commercialized beyond demonstrations by research institute, today several of the major corporate bakers have shifted to the incorporation of 20 per cent high quality cassava flour into production of composite flour with wheat to produce bread,” he said.

The minister noted that the cassava bread, for instance, has hit the super markets of Shop Rite, Spar Park N Shop across the country, while UTC and Butterfield continue to make strides in commercialization of cassava bread.
“To accelerate the production of high quality cassava flour, government is supporting the private sector to access cheap financing to import and establish 18 large-scale processing plants with a capacity of 72,000MT per annum to be sited in Abraka, Delta State.

“Nigeria has secured contracts to supply 3.2 million metric tonnes cassava chips to China and arrangements are underway for the Africa Export- Import Bank to provide a loan facility of $40million to cassava chip exporters. Nigeria is expected to earn over $800 million about N129.2billion from meeting the supply contracts to China,” the minister said.

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