The Nigeria Cassava Growers Association (NCGA) has appealed to the Federal Government to encourage flexible agricultural policies to boost cassava production in the country by 2017.
Mr Segun Adewumi, the National President of the association, made the appeal while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday.
Adewumi said that such flexible policies should eradicate the non-acceptance of agricultural lands as collateral security for loans by Nigerian banks to encourage more farmers in the business.
According to him, the refusal has denied both foreign and local investments in the cassava value chain.
The national president emphasised that agricultural commodities, which required industrial use, needed to cost less for its products to be accepted at the international market, hence the need for the policies.
“We need to devote five million of the 84 million hectares of the arable land in Nigeria to cassava development and that will yield 200 million tonnes of cassava.
“About 200 million tonnes of cassava will produce 50 million tonnes of starch and this will sell for N350, 000 per tonne and that will generate N17.5 trillion for the country,’’ he said.
The national president listed some cassava derivatives to include garri, fufu, tapioca, starch, tapioca and its industrial products as ethanol, industrial starch, cassava flour, glucose syrup and sweetener.
Adewumi suggested the re-organisation and support from the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) to enable it to draw monies from foreign and local money market to boost agricultural production in the country.
He, however, applauded the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for its anchor borrowers’ scheme, saying it would boost food production and ensure food security in the country.