Home BUSINESS AGRICULTURE How Nigeria Can Generate 188 Billion From Cassava Annually – Expert

How Nigeria Can Generate 188 Billion From Cassava Annually – Expert

Farmer carefully packing harvested cassava tubers for transportation to the market

The Executive Director of Partnership Initiative for Niger Delta (PIND), Dara Akala, has shown how Nigeria can generate over $427.3 million (about N188 billion) from domestic value-added to cassava in addition to $2.98 (about N1.2 Trillion) in export of the commodity annually.

Speaking today,  November 5 at the National Cassava Summit in Abuja, Dala Akala said that processing would potentially unlock about 16 million dollars in taxes to the government per annum.

The summit was in collaboration with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), it stated.

The PIND boss said that a 2020 report estimated that Nigeria would need to plant about 28.3 million metric tonnes of fresh cassava roots on about 1.2 million hectares of land annually, to meet the country’s demand for its by-products and derivatives.

According to him, PIND has invested almost $800,000 to increase cassava production, strengthened coordination and relationships of cassava value chain actors, and has promoted improved technologies for cassava production in the Niger Delta region.

“Through this, we have effectively reached approximately 300,000 farmers with information and training, and facilitated the creation of almost 2,500 jobs and a network of 150 service providers.”

Akala, however, said the large-scale cassava processors required a reliable, healthy and timely supply of fresh cassava roots to feed their mills continually.

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He regretted that Nigerian farmers are unable to deliver the quantity and quality of cassava roots required on time, resulting in low productivity, gross under-utilisation of turnkey processing machines and subsequent loss of capital.

He said that experts had reported that the combination of high yielding, virus free varieties, mechanised system and good agronomic practices, including six steps in weed management, could be the country’s game changer in root supply.

A Director at IITA, Dr Alfred Dixon, expressed sadness that Africa is spending about 35 billion annually on food import.

“The danger is if we do nothing about this, food import would rise to 110 billion dollars by 2025, and if this happens, our trade, and particularly exchange rates, will be in jeopardy.

“We will be exporting jobs and importing poverty, unemployment  will rise and raise the tempo of youth restiveness to a higher degree.

“The impact will be precarious on the food and nutrition security of the continent, it is timelier to double our efforts to arrest the situation.”

Source: NAN.

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