2020 Budget: Agriculturist seek priority for 10% cassava bread initiative

2 years ago | 34

AN Agriculture Extension Officer, Mr Tunde Adediji, on Friday urged the Federal Government to revisit and accord priority to the implementation of the 10 per cent cassava bread initiative in the 2020 budget. Adediji, who is attached to the Nigeria Cassava Growers Association, made the plea in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Omu-Aran, Kwara. He said that the initiative, if well funded and well nurtured, had the potential to solve the nation’s poverty, food insufficiency and unemployment challenges. According to him, one way of implementing the scheme successfully is to devote substantial resources to it in the 2020 budget as a way of enhancing cassava production by farmers. Adediji also called on farmers to embark on massive cultivation of cassava to foster the sustenance of the scheme. He charged the cassava growers association with its branches in all the 36 states to be more proactive, through sensitisation and advocacy in encouraging cassava farmers on the need to step up production in order to meet the expected demands. Adediji said that cassava, a staple food for people in the sub-Saharan Africa, had the potential of turning around the nation’s economic fortunes. “Cassava has increasingly gained prominence as a cash crop for smallholder and commercial farmers in some parts of the country. “The decision by the regime of President Goodluck Jonathan on the mandatory incorporation of 10 per cent cassava flour in wheat flour for bread has posed a serious challenge to farmers for the policy to be realised and sustained. “Such policy should be revisited and prioritised by the present administration in boosting cassava production, farmer’s income and improvement in the nation’s economy for sustainable growth,” he said. Adediji said that Nigeria had been proclaimed the largest producer of cassava in the world, urging farmers in the country to work harder to sustain the number one position. “Africa presently accounts for 55 per cent of the global cassava output but it is contending with low market opportunities,’’ he said.(NAN) – Mar. 20, 2020 @ 17:09 GMT |

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