During the tenure of President Goodluck Jonathan, Government approved N10 billion for Cassava Bread Development Fund (CBDF), which is part of the initiative to boost the production of cassava bread in Nigeria.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Akinwumi Adesina, disclosed this on Wednesday at the cassava Growth Enhancement Support [GES] Scheme at Agbadu Staple Crop Processing Zone, Kogi State.
Akinwumi explained that the Federal Government established CBDF to support research and development efforts on cassava bread, train master bakers, support master bakers to acquire new equipment for the production of the bread as well as support social marketing to boost demand for cassava bread, especially through school feeding programmes and improved production of cassava flour by small and medium scale processors.
The minister, represented by his Senior Technical Assistant, Tunji Oredipe, also said the CBDF would be funded through the tariffs generated from wheat flour importation.
According to Adesina, “This will be a year of greater success for Nigeria’s agriculture. We have the support of Mr. President to turn around the cassava sector.
“He has approved our request of N10billion cassava Fund to further explore potential of the cassava industry.”
He assured that through the support of the Federal Government, that Nigerian farmers would produce cassava in large quantities for the local industries as well as process for other uses.
He lamented that though Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava in the world, the market value of cassava has been very low.
To this end, the minister said government would provide an enabling environment for private sector to drive the development of the cassava value chain.
“we will create a conducive environment for the private sector t play a leading role in our collective efforts to transform Nigeria’s agricultural sector.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Kogi State,Olufemi Bolarin,said the state government had provided a large expanse of land for the take-off of the Staple Crop Processing Zone in the State.