Due to the decrease in demand, a bundle of cassava stem is said to be sold for N400 from the initial N1,200 when the demand for the stem and its derivative-garri- was still high.
Farmers usually cut the stem into lengths of about a meter and tie them into bundles comprising 50 stems each and sell.
Cassava is an important crop in Nigeria and the roots are processed to starch, ethanol, flour, cassava flakes, fufu, lafun (cassava powder) and in some communities, the tuber is boiled and eaten directly.
IITA’s Communication & Knowledge Exchange Expert, Godwin Atser, in a statement, said they were still expecting data on demand and supply from the National Bureau of Statistics on this matter, but cassava tubers moved from N13, 000 per ton to about N40, 000, according to local buyers.
A cassava breeder with IITA, Dr. Peter Kulakow, who is also working on the cassava seed systems project stated that most of the varieties planted to cover the hectares were from the informal sector.
He added that Certification from regulators is still rare, but the Nigerian Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) is working with BASICS to set standards and begin the certification of cassava planting materials.
In an interview with Guardian Newspaper, Monsurat Kassim, a seller of cassava stems in Southwest through the informal channel, said “More people are buying the stems this year than they did last year… I think the rise in the price of cassava products is part of the motivation”.