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Cassava sector targets N1.5tr output by 2021




• Donors pledge $30b to agriculture in Africa

Stakeholders in the cassava subsector of the economy have unfolded a plan to grow the industry into $5billion (about N1. 5trillion) by 2021.

The plan was unveiled during the National Cassava Summit held yesterday in Abuja with the theme “Towards a $5 billion per Annum Industry over the next five years.”

The Programme Director of Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND), Dara Akala, said the plan was that by 2021, the Nigerian cassava sector, in terms of investment and volume of trade would be worth $5billion.

Stakeholders that are partnering in the project include German International Corporation (GIZ), PIND, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology, Federal Institute for Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), United States Agency for International Development’s Maximizing Agricultural Revenue and Key Enterprises in Targeted Sites (MARKETS II) project, among others.

Akala noted that there had been several government policies on cassava that were yet to translate to action. He added that the aim of the programme was to translate policies and potential in the subsector into real gain for producers, processors and the country at large.

Also, development partners have pledged more than $30 billion in investments to the agricultural sector in Africa.

The investments dubbed “Seize the Moment” are backed by the African Union Commission, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), key NGOs, companies and donor countries.

The major commitments included $24 billion from the African Development Bank (AfDB) in the next 10 years, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to contribute $5 billion over the next five years and $180 million in additional commitments from The Rockefeller Foundation.

Other agriculture investors and development partners funding is coming World Food Programme (WFP) to purchasing at least $120 million of its agricultural products each year from smallholder farmers through a partnership called the Patient Procurement Platform; $150 million over the next five years from OCP Africa to support local fertilizer distribution, storage and blending in Africa and over $3 billion over the next six years from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

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