MADE partners MAN, RMRDC for cassava investment
MADE Partners MAN, RMRDC for Cassava Investment Market Development in the Niger Delta (MADE), intervening in Agriculture in the Niger Delta region of the country has indicated its interest to collaborate with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) to accelerate the development of Cassava Value Chain in the country.
MADE made this known at a workshop tagged, “Total Cassava Value Chain for Noodles and Animal Feeds Industries” which held at the MAN House in Lagos on Tuesday. The Team Lead of MADE, Mr. Tunde Oderinde, said at the event that the workshop was part of his organization’s effort to facilitate investment and partnership with the private sector in a manner that would engender sustainable development across the Cassava Value Chain.
He said MADE was not only interested in producing cassava for the food market but for industrialization, which was why the workshop was organized for private sector players who see opportunities in the value chain to carve a niche for themselves. According to him, MADE was determined to see Cassava farmers imbibe good agricultural practices which will lead to better yield from 10-12 metric tonnes per hectare to about 18-25 metric tonnes per hectares.
“But that’s not all. Beyond production, we know we need to create demand and drive investment in the region. If farmers improve productivity and there is no market, then the tendency to abandon the product is there. They can switch to maize, rice or other crops. But we know the potential within the cassava sector. We know the transformation that cassava can bring to our nation,” Oderinde said.
Also speaking at the workshop, the Director-General of RMRDC, Dr. Ibrahim Doko advocated for the substitution of wheat which is exported, with cassava, which is locally available since the import bill for wheat runs into billions leading “to the depletion of the nation’s limited foreign reserve.” Group Managing Director of Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, Mr. Paul Gbededo, who delivered a paper at the workshop, listed policy inconsistency, poor infrastructure and funding and inconsistent quality and supply of High Quality Cassava Flouras the challenges facing the development of the staple product in Nigeria.
He lamented the fact that Cassava production was still been produced only for subsistence and targets only domestic food markets in spite of Nigeria’s position as the world’s largest producer of the crop.
In a paper titled ‘Opportunities in High Quality Cassava Flour, Professor Lateef Sani emphasized the importance of loosening the Strangle-Hold of Options on the Animal Feed Industry and the options provided by high quality cassava flour peel marsh. Director of Oamsal Nigeria Limited, a Cassava processing outfit with a ten-ton per day facility in Ekiti, Mr. Oluwafemi Salami, who also spoke at the event commended MADE for its effort at faciltating the workshop, saying the NGO has created an excellent platform for stakeholders to thrash out the issues in the sector.
MADE, funded by the UK government through DFID, is a 4½-year design and implement project in the Niger Delta that seeks to raise the incomes of at least 150,000 poor people—half of whom will be women—by at least 50 per cent, using a market development approach to support growth in the region’s non-oil economy. The project, which first phase is scheduled to end in 2018, has facilitated partnerships with the private sector in five market systems: agricultural inputs, palm oil, fisheries, micro- and small-scale poultry, and cassava.
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