Cassava: Entrepreneurs Train In Tuber Processing
• Nigeria To Earn $534m From Cassava Chips
ALTHOUGH Nigeria is the world’s largest producer of Cassava, it accounts for an insignificant fraction of the dried chips global trade that is put at five billion US dollars per year.
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Sonny Echono revealed at a five-day training workshop for ‘Growing Girls and Women in Nigeria’ (G-WIN) at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUA), Umuahia, Abia state.
The workshop whose theme is “Cassava Processing, Packaging and Marketing,” was organised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with G-WIN Initiative and MOUA, hosted by the university’s Centre for Gender and Child Development, which has Mrs. Georgina Edeoga as Acting Director.
The Permanent Secretary, who was represented by a director in the Ministry said Nigeria’s major achievement was in 2012 when supply orders totaling 2.2 million metric tones of Dried Cassava Chips were secured from China – the world’s largest importer of Cassava chip.
He said that this deal that started with the first shipment in August 2012 was to earn Cassava Processors and Farmers an estimated $534 million revenue.
According to him, the basic approach employed in the workshop would be “ a participatory hands-on training and retention of key production concepts for effective establishment of private Cassava processing enterprises in the localities of the graduate trainees.
He said each Cooperative Society will be supported and encouraged with a starter pack comprising Cassava Grater coupled with 5HP 3-phase electric motor, Stainless Steel Rasper, Dewatering Press among other equipment.
While declaring the workshop open the MOUA Vice Chancellor Prof. Hilary Edeoga lauded government for facilitating it saying that the goal of G-WIN is to ensure that women and girls are adequately empowered to face the economic challenges of this dispensation.
Centre acting Director, Mrs. Edeoga said G-WIN is a medium to reach out to the poorest girls and women in Nigeria and enhance the already distinguished opportunities. She commended the government for choosing MOUA for the workshop, whose participants were drawn from Akwa Ibom, Imo, Lagos, Edo and Abia, states.
Professor of Human Nutrition Dietetics, Prof. Ada Uwaegbute in a paper on “Cassava processing, packaging and marketing; value addition to cassava” listed some of the initiatives that could add value and impact positively on nutrition as selective breeding of nutrient-rich cassava, and complementation with other crops.