Government to address cassava bread’s challenges

A robust cassava  bread  sector is necessary for sustained economic growth and high-paying jobs in Nigeria, the  Technical Adviser(Cassava Value Chain) to the Minister  of Agriculture  and Rural Development , Mrs  Oluwatoyin Adetunji,  has  said.

To achieve  this, Adetunji   said    government would  develop a sustainable cassava bread  sector  that would  help  raise  farmers  income,  improve  food  security and  contribute to an expansion of the rural cottage  industry.

Speaking at the sidelines  during  a  training  for  master  bakers  in the  South  West   region, in Lagos , she   said the  government   intends  to  encourage   more  farmers  to  include cassava in bread  preparation,adding that it  would reduce  production cost incurred  as a result of using   wheat as  a major  component.

Right  now, she  said most farmers  include  10  percent  cassava in  bread production ,which  means a lot  in terms of  reduction of cost .  So far, she said 140 bakers have been trained  from  the  South West part  of  the country.

In addition, Mrs Adetunji    said  the  government  was ready   to  assist bakers   to adopt the   technology to  improve  cassava bread  production.  This at the end, will help to raise the  volume and quality of high quality  cassava bread, increase the efficiency of the supply chain and develop new markets.

The  government, she  reiterated   supply  lines  of  high quality b cassava  flour (HQCF)  for  bakeries   and upgrade  traditional processing practices  to  make  cassava  bread for  defined  markets.

As  there is ongoing  arrangement to  ensure bakers take  delivery  of  machines,Mrs Adetunji  said  the    government  is  determined   to  remove   existing constraints in cassava bread  production, while  small bakers  will  be  supported  to  increase productivity and improve  their entrepreneurial capabilities.

Chairman, South West Zone Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria, Alhaji Abibulah Abolusodun   said the first training was held last year in Osun State.

He said beneficiaries  were  drawn  from seven  states in the South West.

With  more  bakers  supported  to  invest in cassava bread  production,  he  said  a large number  of  youths  would   get  employed,  farmers  would  earn  more and new  cassava  production and processing businesses  would spring up.

According to him, the  basic high cost  bakers incurred is on wheat and this is responsible for supplies becoming tighter.