The President of Nigeria Cassava Growers Association (NCGA), Pastor Segun Adewumi, appeals to the Federal Government to boost cassava production in the country.
This was done during the West African Virus Epidemiology (WAVE) for Root and Tuber Crops First Cassava Stakeholders Workshop themed: “Cassava Virus And Clean Seed,” organised by Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State.
In his keynote address, titled: “Towards the Restoration of Dignity of the Black Race: Cassava for Food And Economic Security,” he said: “Five million hectares will produce 200 million amount of cassava and if milled into industrial starch we shall have 50 million metric tonnes of industrial starch.”
He added that In Nigeria today, Industrial starch sells for N300,000.00 per ton and that means N15tr additional income to Nigeria. It can also mean full employment for five million farmers, service providers, skilled and unskilled workers.”
He noted that Nigeria is recognized worldwide as the global leader in cassava production and wondered why the nation continues to expand N700b to import Ethanol and N400b for industrial starch export annually.
Adewumi said cassava could produce these items for which the country expend over N2tr in foreign currency. He explained that if the Federal Government should use five million hectares out of the country’s 84 million hectares of arable land, the nation could easily earn additional N15tr from the sales of industrial starch alone.
The team leader, WAVE Nigeria Covenant University Hub, Dr, Angela Eni, said cassava is the food security crop for Africa, noting that over 800 million Africans depend on it for food.