Honeywell Oils Cassava-Wheat Flour Production Line
• Cassava bread policy on course
FOLLOWING the cassava-wheat composite flour policy of the federal government, which expects all indigenous milling and baking industries to include 10 per cent high quality cassava flour in the production process by 2016, Honeywell Flour Mill Nigeria Plc has turned on its rollers. In the process, multi-purpose flour consisting of wheat and cassava is now moving into the finished product warehouse at the facility in Apapa, Lagos.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the milling company, Mr. Lanre Jaiyeola informed that his company has achieved 2.5 per cent high cassava flour product out of the required 10 per cent inclusion. He added that by 2016 the company would achieve the desired target.
He explained that the firm has made investments in readiness and compliance with cassava policy of the federal government.
Jaiyeola said this visit would remove ambiguity in information. “It makes every thing open and it is also a way of confirming to government that we are in line with the policy; we believe in it and support it.”
Ahead of December 2016, when the fullness of 10 per cent compliance is expected, he said the firm’s Research and Development department has fast-tracked the process of the inclusion of high quality cassava flour.
“We have perfected it and test marketing is already going on. It means Nigerian bakers can embrace 10 per cent high cassava flour, we have what is truly considered Nigerian bread, which is a primary objective of the Minister of Agriculture,” he said.
The present challenge, according to the chief executive is not different from what other millers face, but harped on the need to get the high quality of cassava flour and its composite right all the time.
“Today, we receive supplies from various processors, which means that we have stepped up quality assurance at the point of intake. It also means that if we take these products through screening, we get less of what we contracted. Our effective buying prize would then not really be N80, 000 but almost N90, 000. In reality, therefore the cost of high quality cassava flour we buy is higher,” Jaiyeola said.
Though bread remains a staple food in the country, he said the item has other close food substitutes. Therefore, Jaiyeola advised master bakers to be reasonable in pricing of bread so that it would be affordable to all Nigerians and the sector can also survive.
He called for increased collaboration with state governments to make land available for massive cultivation of cassava and ensuring steady access to the tuber.