By Chidinma Ewunonu-Aluko
Ibadan, June 1, 2021 The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has initiated a policy to boost cultivation of cassava and other crops using appropriate technologies to enhance job and wealth creation.
The Regional Director, FMARD, South-West, Mr Marcus Ogunbiyi, made the assertion on Tuesday in Ibadan at the opening of a training of 30 master bakers on use of High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) to reduce wheat importation.
Naija247news reports that the training is also to promote the policy of 20 per cent cassava flour inclusion for baking in the South-West zone.
Ogunbiyi, represented by the South-West Assistant Director (Crops), FMARD, Mrs Omolara Oguntuyi, said that the ministry was working towards achieving food and nutrition security through its various activities.
He said that the ministry was working to achieve this objective through promotion of various crops such as cassava in which Nigeria has comparative advantage in its production.
Ogunbiyi noted that the use of cassava flour for bread production had been evolving through promotion of High Quality Cassava Flour HQCF inclusive policy.
According to him, there are proven technologies that Nigeria should adopt to maximize 10 per cent inclusion of HQCF in bread making and other confectionery.
“This alone can give the country 300,000 tonnes of cassava flour annually.
“It can provide huge foreign exchange, create massive wealth among average Nigerians and eliminate hunger in the community,” he said.
Also speaking, the Director, Federal Department of Agriculture, Mrs Karima Babangida, said the policy was poised to build agri-business ecosystem that would address the challenges in the agricultural sector in partnership with all stakeholders.
Babangida, represented by Mr Deola-Tayo Lordbanjou, the Programme Manager, Root and Tuber Expansion Programme, FMARD, added that the policy would achieve export substitution, job creation, economic diversification as well as food and nutrition security.
She said that the promotion and adoption of 10 per cent cassava flour in bread and confectionery making would reduce wheat importation.
“The Federal government had continued to advocate more strategies as the training of bakers on the 10 per cent cassava inclusion policy to guarantee acceptability, market, sustainability across the country and addresses existing challenges.
“The impact is that consequent demand for cassava flour will have a positive multiplier effect on cassava value chain/cassava industry and on the entire Nigerian economy.
“The master bakers will learn the skills and cascade down the training to other members to promote increase efficiency in food processing activities and increase cassava roots supply,” Babangida said.