Cassava Production: Group Partners FG On Raising $5bn Annually | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


Cassava Production: Group Partners FG On Raising $5bn Annually

Posted: Sep 8, 2016 at 8:20 am   /   by   /   comments (0)




Abuja – A non-governmental organisation, Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND), is set to partner the Federal Government and other development organisations on how to raise $5 billion per annum through the production and export of cassava in the next five years.

A statement on Wednesday by PIND’s Programme Director, Dr. Dara Akala, explained that public and private sectors’ National Cassava Summit with the theme, ‘Towards a US$5 billion Per Annum Cassava Industry in the Next Five Years,’ would be held in Abuja today to chart the way forward in realising the target.

According to Dr. Akala, “Cassava is a staple food crop throughout the African continent, particularly in Nigeria.

“Despite being the world’s largest producer of the cassava, Nigeria produces cassava primarily for domestic consumption and does not rank among leading exporting countries.

“The potential of the cassava sector to drive accelerated growth and jobs creation will not be fulfilled without a systemic approach to addressing structural and political economy issues that currently constrain it.

“Among these issues are relatively low yields and high costs, strong competition by the traditional food market with the industrial market, weak value chain coordination, poor infrastructure, poor access to finance, and unfair competition from cheap foreign imports.

“Though not exhaustive, the challenges listed demonstrate that the cassava agriculture sub-sector faces myriad problems and offers huge potential.”

He noted that coordinated action towards addressing these challenges would catalyse growth with corresponding multiplier effects on jobs creation and industrialisation for Nigeria.

Commenting on the objectives of the national summit, he said the summit would assist stakeholders in understanding the current state of the cassava sub-sector and basis for transformative change, promoting inclusive investment in the cassava industry based on analysis and dialogue, developing strategies for launching cassava into a high performing and growth-oriented sub-sector as well as building consensus on a policy framework to underpin cassava industrial development.

He pointed out that the summit would provide an opportunity for multi-stakeholder conversations between farmers association, research institutions, input suppliers, banks, small-medium scale processors, large-scale industrial processors, transporters, marketers, development organisations and government ministries and departments.

“This Summit will also help provide accurate data on the state of cassava industrial and food markets.

“The summit aims to organise a well-coordinated and well-targeted positive action that will act as a catalyst for growth with corresponding multiplier effects on jobs creation and industrialization,” he said.