President Goodluck Jonathan said at the weekend that between now and 2015, about 1.3 million new jobs would be created through the implementation of the cassava transformation action plan which encourages industries to begin to use cassava.
Jonathan who gave the hint at the formal presentation of the commercialised composite cassava bread at the Presidential Villa, Abuja said he had kept faith with the promise he made earlier to eat only cassava bread throughout his stay at Aso Rock.
“You will recall that last November, I launched a brand of bread made with 40 percent of high quality cassava flour and 60 percent wheat flour developed by the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan. I did that in the Federal Executive Council. On that occasion, I pledged to make cassava bread a regular feature of my diet after having a taste of the bread. Let me assure you that I still keep faith with that pledge of eating only cassava bread in the State House,” he stated.
Imploring Nigerians to embrace local products and join hands with the government to unlock its untapped potential, the president said the implementation of the plan would also ensure that local farmers got value for their efforts.
He said, “The import of the development of cassava bread is that our cassava farmers and processors most of whom toil endlessly and earn little for their efforts now have cause to dream again as government has begun the implementation of a cassava transformation action plan.
“Our goal is to expand market for cassava farmers and turn Nigeria into the largest processor of cassava in the world. It is our earnest expectation that the action plan will create 1.3million jobs over the next four years as we move into food manufacturing and industry uses of cassava.”
Jonathan further disclosed that Federal Government was already facilitating the manufacture and importation of 18 large scale cassava processing plants, which would be located in areas of high cassava production.
“It is not going to be based on politics. The mills, when completed, within the next 24 months will process 1.3million metric tonnes of high quality cassava flour that will make Nigeria the largest cassava processor in the whole world,” he added.