The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele Thursday said that Nigeria imports cassava derivatives valued at over $600m annually.
Speaking at the meeting with state governors of cassava producing states
And signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between:
Nigeria Cassava Growers Association and Large Scale Cassava Processors, Emefiele explained that aside from foreign exchange conservation, increasing cassava production is a necessity as starch, glucose, sorbitol and other products currently being imported proffers no future for the nation in the long-term.
Speaking to the gaps in the value chain, he stated that “the gap and potential demand that exists in our cassava value chain:
Demand for High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) in bread, biscuits and snacks is above 500,000t annually while supply is below 15,000t
Demand for cassava starch is above 300,000t annually while supply is below 10,000t
Demand for cassava-based constituents in sugar syrup is above 350,000t annually while supply is almost non-existent
Potential demand for ethanol in Nigeria as a fuel for cooking, to power vehicles (E10), and other industrial uses exceeds 1 billion litres, while production is nearly zero.
“It was on this premise that we included cassava in the FX exclusion list to salvage the industry, encourage farmers to go back to their farms to boost jobs creation and increase output and improve the capacity utilization of our processing companies.
“Although huge investments were made into the industry during the cassava bread initiative, the industry continues to suffer as a result of low yield varieties, poor farm practices, lack of good quality farm inputs, non-utilization of available cultivable lands, manual system of production, inadequate funding for small holder out grower schemes and low processing capacity. To ameliorate these challenges, and in line with CBNs developmental initiatives, the Bank is intervening in the sector through a complete value chain approach. This will involve support to the Nigeria Cassava Growers Association at the production level under the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) and support to Large Scale Cassava Processors under the CACS and DCRR programs,” he said.