Nigeria Imports $600m Cassava Products Annually – CBN

FX Restriction: Milk Importation Is Not Banned – CBN
A file photo of CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele.

 

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says Nigeria imports cassava derivatives valued at about S600 million annually.

CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele disclosed this on Tuesday at a meeting with governors of cassava-producing states in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

At the event, the apex bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nigeria Cassava Growers Association and Large Scale Cassava Processors.

Emefiele explained that the country was blessed with several varieties of cassava that could be explored to optimum potential.

He, however, said there was a need to adopt improved varieties and practices that would guarantee better yield, better processing efficiency, increased profit and improved standard of living for the farmers.

READ ALSO: Niger Govt Seals Deal To Save Nigeria $1.2bn Annually From Milk Importation

In achieving this goal, the CBN governor revealed that consultations were ongoing with the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan, and the National Root Crops Research Institute, Umudike.

According to him, increasing cassava production is a necessity apart from foreign exchange conservation as starch, glucose, sorbitol, and other products were being imported.

“Statistics show that out of the 53.0 million metric tonnes of cassava produced in Nigeria annually, more than 90 per cent is processed into food for human consumption.

“Whereas a significant industrial demand exists for the output of processed cassava, primarily as substitutes for imported raw materials and semi-finished products,” Emefiele said.

He added, “Potential demand that exists in our cassava value chain, demand High-Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) in bread, biscuits and snacks is above 500,000 tonnes annually while supply is below 15,000 tonnes.

“Demand for cassava starch is above 300,000 tonnes annually while supply is below 10,000 tonnes.”

The demand for cassava-based constituents in sugar syrup, according to the CBN governor, is above 350,000 tonnes annually while supply is almost nonexistent.

He noted that potential demand for ethanol in the country as a fuel for cooking, to power vehicles (E10), and other industrial uses, exceeded one billion litres while production was nearly zero.

Emefiele said the CBN was taking bolder steps in collaborating with the private sector, state governments producing cassava, and other stakeholders towards resuscitating the sector.

FG Trains 200,000 Youths In Agribusiness

FG To Train 200,000 Youths In AgribusinessThe Federal Government has commenced a training for 200,000 youths across 33 local governments in seven states on rice, sorghum and cassava production.

The Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, said this while launching the training at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Abuja.

According to him, over $170 million has been earmarked, of which $152 million would be loaned from the Africa Development Bank.

Mr Ogbeh said 120,000 jobs would be created and 20,000 metric tonnes of selected crops produced during the five-year agricultural programme on seed production.

The National Programme Coordinator of Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Program, Haruna Akwashiki, highlighted some of the feats the programme recorded in 2016.

He said youth groups were trained while a total of 3,240 tons of rice seeds were produced for distribution to farmers in 2017.

Mr Akwashiki added that the training was replicated in the sorghum and cassava value chain.

Young people at the event noted that agriculture has become a significant force in economic transformation.

Through the chain of activities that add value to agricultural products, government says it will empower more youths to have their own businesses.

Ogun Govt. Seeks Partnership In Mechanised Cassava Production

Ogun government on mechanised cassava productionOgun State Government has expressed its readiness to collaborate with development partners in the area of mechanised cassava production and its value chains.

The government explains that the partnership is a way of diversifying the economic base of the state in southwest Nigeria.

The expression of interest was communicated by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Taiwo Adeoluwa, who represented the State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, at a workshop on mechanised cassava production.

The government informed the gathering that there was a provision in the 2017 Budget for the opening up of about 1,000 hectares of farmlands for cassava farming in the state.

The training which took place on Tuesday in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital brought together agriculture experts and development partners from Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and the United States.

Some experts, Enorck Chikava and Adebayo Sangobiyi, raised concerns over the best practices in commercial and mechanised cassava production and agro-processing, stressing the need to ensure that such engagements sustain grow and develop the nation’s economy.

They also addressed some of the challenges facing the sector with a view to exploring some of the available options such as effective government intervention, more funds for research and development as well as improved seedlings among others.

Economy In Recession

Nigeria is the highest cassava producer in the world with at least 50 million metric tonnes per year.

However, the output per unit is very low as a result of the numerous challenges grappling with the agriculture sector, one of which is the recession in Africa’s most populated country.

While the government is making effort to address the economic challenges, a World Economic Outlook report released by the International Monetary Fund had predicted that the Nigerian economy would grow by 0.6% in 2017.

The report revealed that Nigeria’s real Gross Domestic Product was expected to increase marginally by 0.6% with Consumer Prices rising by 17.1%, effectively lifting the country out of an officially declared recession.

Attacks On Oil Facilities

The recession was triggered by the drop in the price of crude oil and the attacks on the nation’s oil facilities by some militant groups in the Niger Delta region.

The militants under the umbrella of the Niger Delta Avengers have claimed responsibility for most of the attacks which have drawn the attention of the Nigerian Government and some other foreign governments.

Disturbed by the spate of the militants’ activities, the Nigerian Army launched a special team code named “Operation Crocodile Smile”, amidst agreement between the government and the militants to hold talks after a ceasefire agreement from both sides.

Despite this agreement, several other attacks have been launched on oil installation by the Niger Delta Avengers and another splinter group.

Both military and militants have continued to point accusing fingers at each other, alleging a breach of agreements, as the military said it would not hesitate to repel militants’ attack in the region.

Anambra State Begins Implementation Of FADAMA Project

Anambra-State-Governor-Willie-ObianoAnambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, has directed the full implementation of the FADAMA 3AM Project, with immediate payment of 112 million Naira counterpart fund for 2015 and 2016.

The project is in line with the World Bank objective of achieving self- sufficiency in food production all year round.

Governor Obiano gave the directive in Amawbia during a visit of the World Bank FADAMA team led by World Bank Senior Communication Specialist, Professor Obadiah Tohundhet.

The World Bank official was in the state to intimate Governor Obiano on the agricultural developmental initiatives in the FADAMA project in which Anambra State has been selected alongside five other states in the area of Rice production.

The Governor assured the World Bank representative that supporting initiatives in Agricultural sector was a major policy thrust in his four pillars of administrative development blueprint.

Also at the meeting were the members of the Anambra State Executive Council.

The State Commissioner for Agriculture explained the state of FADAMA activities at the inception of Obiano’s administration and said it was poorly implemented, but stressed that subsequent intervention by the state government had activated the project which culminated to the visit of the current FADAMA team to the state.

The leader of the World Bank Fadama Team introduced the current project which would target aggressive and massive production of four crops in six states which included Rice, Cassava, Maize and Sorghum.

He commended Anambra State for successfully completing FADAMA 3 Project, with a special appreciation to the Governor for his passion towards the development of agriculture to fight poverty and food insufficiency in the state.

Professor Tohundhet, however, noted that poor payment of counterpart funds by states would be the militating factor in the implementation and achievement of the full objectives of the project.

Responding to the presentation of Professor Tohundhet, Governor Obiano highlighted the activities of the state in rice production and concluded that the FADAMA project would be an added value in what the state was already doing.

The enthusiasm displayed by the present administration of Governor Obiano in agricultural development has not only attracted huge investments into the state but also given employment to youths but according to the governor, the ultimate aim is to ensure food sufficiency and bring to an end poverty amongst the people.

F.G To Partner With Kwara State Govt. To Boost Food Sufficiency

obehThe Federal Government is to assist Kwara State in rice expansion programme to boost food sufficiency in Nigeria.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh stated this in Ilorin when he paid a courtesy visit to the state governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed.

The Minister who said Kwara State is identified with massive rice and cassava production called on farmers in the state to take interest in cashew production as the federal government would soon send varieties of cashew seedlings to the state and some other states of the federation.

He also called on each state in the federation to focus on one or two major export crops with comparative advantage as a measure towards improving Nigeria’s Foreign Exchange earnings.

The Minister expressed concern over the neglect in the Agricultural Sector and promised that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari would turn the sector into new oil and gas by making the sector more attractive to farmers and potential investors.

In his remarks, the Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed disclosed that his government had identified rice, soya, cassava and maize for special attention and expressed readiness to partner with the Federal Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development.

The Governor said his administration demand-driven agricultural scheme had enabled farmers to take advantage in agricultural value chains.

Bayelsa Is One Of Most Secure Places To Do Business – Seriake Dickson

Seriake DicksonThe Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson has urged both local and foreign investors to pitch their tents in the oil-producing State, noting that it is one of the most secure places to do business in Nigeria.

Dickson, who made the call at the on-going maiden edition of the Bayelsa Investment and Economic Forum, in Yenagoa, commended security agencies for doing a good job of keeping the peace in the State, thereby making it a choice destination for investors.

Investors and Government officials from both Federal and State levels, who had gathered for the ceremony, included the Vice President, Nnamadi Sambo, who represented President Goodluck Jonathan, Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison Madueke, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga.

While delivering his speech, Governor Dickson made a strong case for his state, urging investors to do business in the land as his administration had made plans to position Bayelsa as a major vibrant economy.

Dickson, who described Bayelsa as Nigeria’s best kept economic and leisure secret, noted that his administration was “working hard to lay the foundation for a vibrant economy,” he said, noting that the government had embarked on several projects in some sectors, including education, power, agriculture, fashion, tourism e.t.c.

“In the past 2 years, we have built schools and schools and schools,” he emphasized, noting that over 600 primary schools had been built, including teachers’ quarters.

He disclosed plans to have a school in every state House Constituency of the House of Assembly.

He further highlighted that education is free in the State and that the government also paid for external examinations, maintaining that “our goal is education for the economy”.

According to him, human capacity development is the nation’s greatest challenge, hence different schools for music, agriculture, language studies, driving, fashion, photography are being set up to develop the youths.

He also called on investors in the fashion and tourism sector to pitch their tents in the State as the government was already making preparations to train youths.

The governor also spoke about power generation, maintaining that “we are aspiring to be the number one in power generation” and since the State produced about 40% of the nation’s crude oil and mineral resources, “we are aspiring to be the nation’s power hub”.

He stressed that the government was also interested in palm oil production, as well as aqua-culture. He disclosed that the State was targeting production of 3000 tonnes of fish for local consumption and export.

Also, the governor stated that about 6000 hectares of land set aside for cassava planting as the largest cassava processing company was stationed in the State.

Governor Dickson also addressed people of the State to reduce their dependency on the government. “We have got to move away from over-dependence on government and into production,” he stressed.

“You the people of Bayelsa must also do your part… don’t live a life of dependence. Take responsibility for your livelihood,” he said.

Bayelsa partners with Denmark firm to boost cassava production

The Bayelsa State government on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding with DPP international Denmark, on the production and processing of cassava in commercial quantity.

Signing the partnership document, which is set to make the state a cassava exporting state, the Bayelsa State governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Gboriobiogha John Jonah expressed pleasure with the signing of MOU, asserting that the State’s low GDP is as a result of the nonexistence of industries.

Mr Jonah said the partnership will benefit the people of Bayelsa state as well as the investors.

“The factory will employ Bayelsians, the farms you are going to establish will employ Bayelsians and these are the issues that excite most of us,” he said.

The Deputy Governor used the opportunity to call on investors to come to Bayelsa state as the state is quickly becoming an investor haven.

Cassava which is processed into garri, starch, noodles and lots more is a very important crop to Bayelsa and Nigeria.

Studies have shown that Bayelsa state has potentials to cultivate and export cassava in large quantity this informed the state government’s partnership with Dpp international to aid the state in achieving its objectives.

The General Manager and CEO of the company, Wolfgang Holz, assured the State of the ability of his company to process and refine cassava into products that can be sold in the worldwide market.

“The first thing we want to establish here is a farm to grow cassava. We want to make cassava cultivation more professional and develop that agricultural industry by developing better farming methods,” Mr Holz said.

He said his company will introduce partial mechanization so that jobs can be created for interested residents in Bayelsa state.