Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Relevance of Cassava in the Agricultural Policy of Nigeria

Classification of Cassava
Kingdom                Plantae
Phylum                  Angiosperm
Order                     Malpighlales
Family                   Euphorbiaceae
Sub Family            Crotonoideae
Genus                    Manihot
Species                  esculenta

Nigeria is the largest producers of cassava in the world but less processor of cassava and largest importer of wheat flow in the world.  The government under the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan made the following policies early in the year 2012.
  • The tax of importing wheat flour should be increased to 65%.
  • Production of more cassava for :Food security
  • 40% cassava flour input
  • Export crop for government revenue
  • Cassava for bread baking
  • Creating employment
Processing and Utilization of CassavaCassava is a very variable commodity with numerous uses and by products.  Each component of the plant can be valuable to it’s cultivators. The leaves may be consumed as a vegetable, or cooked as a soup ingredient or dried and fed to livestock as a protein feed supplement. The stem is used for plant propagation and grafting. The root are typically processed for human and industrial consumption. 
Below is an order of importance of Cassava Products being consumed in different zones.

Zone                          Order of importance (Below are the local names of cassava processed foods)
South West                Gari, Lafun, Fufu/Akpu
South South               Gari, Akpu
South East                 Gari, Fufu/Akpu
North Central            Gari, Fufu/Akpu, Starch
North East                 Fufu/Akpu, Gari, Abacha

Cassava Usage
Domestis usage
  • It is used to produce Gari
  • It leaf can be used for soup
  • It is used to make Fufu
  • It is also used for Akpu
  • It is medicinal
Industrially cassava is used:
  • For Biofuel
  • Cassava flour (for bread baking, biscuit making etc.)
  • It is also used in the production of starch
  • It is used in the production of ethanol.
  • It is used in drugs production
  • Cassava serve Animal feeding:
  • Cassava is use in the production of chips
  • It leaf can serves as sow of protein for animals
Stem usage
  • The step is use for further propagation
  • It can serves as fire wood for the villagers instead of deforestation.
Sources of income and revenue
  • Cassava can serves as source of income for farmers.
  • It can serves as source of foreign revenue for government.
Generally, cassava can be used for these products: Food confectionery, Sweeteners, Glues, Plywood, textile, paper, biodegradable products, monosodium, glutamate, and drugs malt drink cassava chips and pallets used in animal feeds and alcohol production. And lastly, cassava can be a source of foreign revenue if it is being used as one of the export goods by government of Nigeria.

The task to be faced now is how to develop successful long-term relationships between members of the cassava supply chain (farmer to agribusiness entrepreneurs) to address and resolve the problems faced by everyone from ineffectual market, low levels of technology used and inadequate policy and regulatory systems. I therefore recommend that the Government and private sector should help in providing large-scale enterprises where operation would provide employment and the large tonnage processing with marketing opportunities. Government should also provide credit facilities and fertilizers where necessary to the farmers. Roads in rural areas should be in good condition for easy transportation. I therefore challenge us all to rise and be self employed in the area of cassava planting which can increase the standard of living of the people. The greatness of a man is not in his wealth but his contribution to the society.

References for further reading
  • Brautlechet, C.D.  (1953). Starch: is sources, production Uses. Reinhold, New York. Pp 60-75.
  • IITA (2002). Competitiveness workshop.  Opportunities for Cassava in Nigeria.  Bokanga, IITA-Ibadan (2002).8-14.
  • Imo State Agricultural Development Programmed (ADP). 2O03. Report on the State Agro-Processing and Market Expansion Group (SAMEG), (2003).2:39.
  • Kormawa, P. and Akoroda, M.O. (2003). Cassava Supply Chain Arrangements for Industrial Utilization in Nigeria.  Ibadan: IITA.
  • RTEP. 1995.  Roots and Tubers Expansion Programme: Formulation Report (Vol. 2), 91/95 IF AS-NIR 64. IFAD, Rome. 
  • Scott.  G.J., Rose, G. and Ringler, C.(2000). Roots and tubers for the 21st Century: Trends, projections, and policy for developing countries.  Washington, D.C. IFPRI.
  • Shaib, B., Adamu A. and Bakshi, J. (1997).  Nigeria National Agricultural Research Strategy Plan: 1996-2010.  Ibadan, Nigeria:  Intec Printers Limited.

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