Expert Enumerates Benefits of Cassava Value Chain, Urges Nigerians to Invest in it

A Professor of Food Technology, Lateef Sanni, on Saturday, urged the government and the citizens to engage in cassava value chain because of its numerous benefits.

Sanni, of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAB), gave the advice at a workshop, organised by the Agroimpact Projects and Empowerment Initiative of the University of Ibadan Women Society (UIWS).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop focused on ‘Cassava: Products, Businesses and Accessing Markets’.

Sanni remarked that cassava starch value chain was the most optimistic in terms of economic and technical feasibility for growth in the short and medium terms.

He added that cassava livestock feed business could be a profitable business which people and farmers could engage in for self-reliance.

The former FUNAAB deputy vice chancellor, emphasised that high quality cassava flour could be a good intermediate product which Nigeria could invest in and make huge profits.

“Gari processing and sales alone can bring millions of Naira to the person investing in it.

“You don’t need to establish a factory before you can start the business; just locate some processing units and good packaging bags and start your sale.

“You can have a stand-alone SME producing, processing and marketing cassava products; you can also join input suppliers and agro-dealers, among others.

“Cassava business is not as dull as people think;  one can start gradually and later get others and work with them, engage in team work and networking to be able to make profit and progress,” he said.

Earlier, the Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ibadan, Prof. Jacob Babayemi, represented by a lecturer in the faculty, Prof. Adeniyi Togun, said the workshop was apt, especially with cassava as a major staple food in the country.

The UIWS President, Dr Wumi Olayinka, said a lot of foods and material resources could be produced from cassava, as it could serve as a source of employment to thousands of people.

She urged the participants, drawn from across the country, to make the most use of the opportunity given by the workshop and impact the lives of others positively as well.

Also, the Chairperson of AgroImpact Projects and Empowerment Initiative, Dr Morufat Balogun, said that the project also involved other initiatives such as: maize, tree planting, tomato and others, aside than cassava.

She added that the organization collaborated with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and other research institutes.

Balogun said that the workshop, which was a follow up to the ones it had in the past, was on how to access market and make more profit and livelihood from the cassava value chain.

“The workshop will be participatory and evaluative; so we expect that every participant will surely go home with something at the end,” she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop had in attendance representatives of IITA, Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources and Crop Protection as well as Environmental Biology, both of UI. (NAN)

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