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Cassava Value Chain: Nigeria Losses Millions Of Naira, Jobs Annually

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Nigeria losses millions of Naira, business, and employment opportunities for many due to non-value addition to cassava even as it is the global leader in the production of the commodity.

Brazil, Thailand, and other countries which are not as richly endowed with the commodity have maximised its potentials to make it one of their major sources of revenue generators and job creators.

The Traditional Ruler of Oriendu Autonomous Community, in Umuahia North council area, Eze (Dr.) Philip Ajomiwe stated this while speaking in an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP in his palace.

He expressed worry that “government at all levels in the country have not done enough to place agriculture in its rightful position as a key player in the economy of the country due to inconsistencies and policy summersault.”

The Chairman and Managing Director of De-Philajoms Agro and Allied Industries Ltd added that otherwise there would not have been food insufficiency and unemployment in the country especially among the youth.

According to the South East Coordinator of National Cassava Processors and Marketer Association (NCAPMA), the challenges facing agriculture in the country are so enormous that it will require a national conference to arrive at the solutions.

His words, “Every inadequacy that have been affecting the economic development of the country, be it poor road network, powers supply, insecurity, and high production cost have also been having their toll on the sector.

He argued that the governments call for people especially the youths to return to agriculture have not been receiving the right response because the governments have not been providing them with the enabling conditions and environment.

The monarch lamented that while the country envies the achievements of those countries that have achieved break-throughs in agriculture through research and mechanization “our people are still engaged in using cutlasses and hoes.”

He also revealed that following extensive farming of cassava, there have been a glut of cassava products in the country, adding that had there been adequate storage facilities, the excesses would have been taken care of to stabilize the prize.

Maintaining that such situation often discourages farmers from cultivating the product the following year, the patron of Nigeria Cassava Growers Association, appealed to the government to provide farmers with storage facilities.

He noted that beyond these, another challenge that the federal government in particular needs to address urgently is herders/farmers clashes which have often led to loss of lives, cattle and crops worth millions of Naira.

The chairman complained that the headers have not only become security threat in the community, but also graze their cattle on farmlands with impunity and sometimes commit rape even against aged women.

 

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