Master bakers endorse OFSP puree in bread as cost escalates
The national body of the Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria (AMBCN) has endorsed the inclusion of Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato (OFSP) puree in bread production as part of its ongoing efforts to cut the cost of bread production in Nigeria.
It will be recalled that the association and other stakeholders recently increased the price of bread by 30 per cent as a result of the high cost of production inputs.
In collaboration with Sano Foods Limited, AMBCN held a one-day seminar in Abuja to demonstrate 20 per cent inclusion of OFSP puree in bread production.
Speaking at the end of the demonstration, the National Secretary of the association, Jude Okafor, said: “This is a very successful demonstration. We are happy with the outcome and the national body of AMBCN is fully in support of this new initiative. Our aim now is to ensure that the implementation cuts across all states for the benefit of all Nigerians.”
The representative of Sano Foods Limited, Solomon Ojeleye emphasised the nutritional value of OFSP puree in bread production.
He said: “OFSP is rich in beta-carotene and fibre with high nutritional value in Vitamin A for eye health, Vitamin B6 which helps the body maintain healthy metabolism and nervous system, Vitamin C for immune health and Vitamin D which plays an important role in carrying out vital functions in the body system.”
Stating the economic case for the inclusion of Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato (OFSP) puree in bread and other confectioneries, Ojeleye said: “The OFSP inclusion will reduce the country’s yearly wheat importation and conserve foreign reserves. A kilogramme of wheat is currently N300, but a kilogramme of OFSP puree is N200. Hence, bakers reduce the cost of production by N100 on every kilogramme of OFSP puree substitute in bread baking.”
Questions as regards the availability of OFSP roots were raised during the seminar and two agricultural companies partnering with Sano Foods for input supply were present at the seminar to explain the plan that had been put in place.
Agri Capital Limited, represented by Richard Nwadimuya, expressed the readiness to work with various farmers’ groups across the country to ensure that OFSP roots are made available in the quantity required.
Sola Olunowo, Managing Director of Agro Park, was optimistic that the project would be successfully implemented.
“We are partnering with Sano Foods and master bakers in this initiative. Our plan is to cultivate 5,000 hectares in three phases. This is our area of expertise and it is not new to our organisation.”
In his closing remarks at the programme, president of AMBCN, Alhaji Mansa Umar, enjoined government agencies, banks and state governments to give necessary support to the initiative.
He said: “This is about the cost of bread production and better nutrition for Nigerians, and it requires support from all quarters.
“We have mobilised our national executive members from all states to be part of this demonstration in Abuja because of its importance and urgency. We are all happy with the outcome.”
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