The federal government has said it would do everything within its resources to ensure Nigeria occupies its pride of place in cassava production. This is also in view of the importance of cassava as food and industrial raw material.
Director, Federal Department of Agriculture, Mrs Karima Babangida disclosed this during a workshop on capacity building for youths and women farmers to address yield gap in cassava production for south east zone at the National Root Crop Institute, Umudike in Abia State.
Babangida said Nigeria is one of the largest producers of cassava in the world even with its low yield of below 10mt/ha compared to countries like Thialand.
While disclosing that Nigeria has potential to produce at least 40mt/ha, she said the challenge posed as low yield could be addressed through the adoption of appropriate policy measures, deployment of efficient technologies, improved agronomic practices and cropping system.
She said given the prime position of cassava to providing food security, and ensuring raw materials for many companies, efforts should be improved to ensure productivity.
According to her, “That is why we are holding this workshop because we believe that the yield gap in cassava production can be addressed through dissemination and adoption of improved technologies as well as innovation by smallholder farmers.”
She encouraged the participants to take the workshop very seriously as it would not only enrich their knowledge, but also ensure they achieve better yield and ultimately have improved income.