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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Cassava can earn Nigeria N20 trillion annually, can trigger industrial revolution

By Olusola Alatise
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For Nigeria to trigger industrial revolution and realize her desire to be self sufficient in food production, it must put in place a national policy on cassava.

National President, Nigeria Cassava Growers Association, Pastor Segun Adewumi declared this while featuring as a guest on The Hope newspaper interview “Owena Press Platform” at the weekend.

He insisted that cassava can earn Nigeria twice what crude oil can give  as well as trigger industrial revolution in the country.

Pastor Adewumi said Nigeria can realize over N20 trillion annually from cassava but that the problem has been lack of a national policy on cassava and  the political will to drive the policy to fruition.

His words: “Nigeria can make more money than it is making from crude oil presently. Nigeria can make N20 trillion from cassava. All the by-products of Cassava are money spinning.

“Let us allocate five million hectares for cassava  out of the 84 million hectares of arable land we have. That will give us 200million metric tonnes, at 40 tonnes per hectare.

“At a ratio of one to four, let us use industrial starch as an example, we are going to have five million metric tonnes of industrial starch.

“Industrial starch sells at about N300,000 per tonne. So N300,000 times five million tonnes, you are going to get over N15trillion.

“And when you are processing cassava, there are by-products. “

Nigeria has the potentials to feed other African countries with cassava. The humidity, weather is favourable, cassava grows seamlessly on our land with little effort. We only eat our own cassava while others translate it to export commodity which brings more income than our own.

Nigeria spends over N800b on the importation of ethanol annually and over N500b on importation of industrial starch and the starch and ethanol from our own cassava is far better than the imported ones.

Cassava is the most wonderful crop in the world, apart from being a local food like garri that can be soaked by all, the temptation is there for everybody to take garri. If we promote cassava, its importance is in the industrial area.”

Adewumi, who listed what can be derived from cassava to include: Ethanol, flour, sweetner, industrial starch and glucose among others said Nigeria has no justification for importing food, but to export and declared that our Cassava starch is better than the imported one.

He said Nigeria has the potential to feed herself and other African countries because the weather is favourable to agriculture and Cassava in particular.

On what the church can do to help the youth, Adewumi who is the General Overseer of House of Prayer Ministry said bigger churches have a role to play in empowering the youth through investment in agriculture, saying that agriculture is more profitable  than the white collar job being sought by the youth.

“The church, particularly the bigger ones that have resources can empower their youths through agriculture. They can acquire hectares of land, buy cassava planters and harvesters, with that, hundreds of their jobless youth will be gainfully engaged rather than seeking white collar jobs. Agriculture is the best thing to do.”

He said Ondo State has no reason to be poor with its land endowment.

On the solutions to Nigeria’s myriad of problems, Adewumi said the problem can only be solved by Nigerians with good policy on agriculture, adding that no foreigner will solve our problems because foreigners see Nigeria as market for their products such as generators.

He advised government at all levels not to focus on governance without conducting research on how to translate cassava into its derivatives, saying the association has partnered state governments across the country on how to use cassava as a means of creating jobs and generating income.

On the benefits the Nigeria Cassava Growers Association has brought to Ondo State, Adewumi said N100m had been distributed to farmers and that another N40m had been given to the Ondo State Wealth Creation Agency (WECA) through the association.

He said the ethanol factory to be established in Okeluse in Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State will be the best thing to happen to the and that it will be of immense benefits to the people in all ramifications.

Adewumi, who suggested that government should encourage commercial farming as against the subsistence farming, said government can do that through making tractors available to reduce cost of production.

The Hope Owena Press
The Hope Owena Presshttp://www.thehopenewspaper.com
Owena Press Limited (Publisher of The Hope Newspaper), Akure

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