Nigeria would export one million tonnes of cassava chips in 2012, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said this on Thursday in Abuja.
Adesina was speaking at the Ministerial Platform in commemoration of the 2012 Democracy Day celebration on May 29, and the first anniversary of President Goodluck Jonathan's administration.
He emphasised that the target would be met through the various reforms initiated on improving the cassava value chain in the country.
``In terms of export of cassava, we are exporting one million metric tonnes of cassava chips this year.’’
He noted that cassava was one of the five crops that the present administration had identified as a prospective foreign exchange earner for the country under the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that other crops being developed are sorghum, cotton, rice and cocoa.
Adesina added that the Federal Government had concluded arrangements for the establishment of 18 cassava processing plants across the country.
He expressed optimism that these plants would process 1.3 tonnes of cassava, making Nigeria the largest cassava processor globally.
The minister stressed that his agenda was to change the mindset of Nigerians about agriculture.
``Agriculture is not a development programme. It is a straight line business and we want Nigeria to be an agricultural industrialised country.’’
Adesina called on all Nigerians to patronise bread made from cassava flour, saying that it is the only way to promote the product.
Earlier in his opening address, the Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, urged Nigerians to join in the dialogue organised by government to highlight the progress made in key sectors in the last one year.
Maku advised critics of the present administration to be constructive, noting that the reports by the various ministries were meant to inform Nigerians on the way forward.
He explained that the programme was not for government officials to talk at the people but a dialogue for Nigerians to talk about the progress made in the past one year.
The minister added that as the platform progressed, more responses from Nigerians would assist the various ministries to consolidate the transformation efforts.
NAN reports that since the dialogue started on Tuesday, many Nigerians have contributed to the discussions through the various social media networks such as Twitter and Face book.
They have also sent their responses to the Ministry of Information through its official website and via e-mail. (NAN)