HarvestPlus-Nigeria has trained 28 processors in the production of high-quality “garri’’, “fufu’’ and custard from Vitamin A-fortified cassava.
The Information Officer of HarvestPlus, Ikechukwu Onyewuchi, said via a statement that the two-day “Train the Trainers’’ session was organised, in partnership with IFAD-Value Chain Development Programme (IFAD-VCDP) of Niger.
The statement said that the training, which focused on best practices in producing cassava-based food items, involved 23 females and five males, drawn from Niger, Anambra, Lagos and Oyo states.
The Events and Partnerships Officer of HarvestPlus, Miss Ifeoma Okonkwo, was quoted as highlighting the business opportunities in cassava value-added products during the training.
Okonkwo said that any investment in the value chain was lucrative, adding that the added benefit of fighting malnutrition with the food products “is also a golden opportunity that is worth exploring’’.
The statement also quoted Hadiza Isah, an Agro-Processing and Quality Enhancement Officer at IFAD-VCDP, Niger, as saying that the training would enhance the skills of the participants.
It would also afford them to maximise the potential of cassava as a multi-purpose crop, she said.
Isah noted that cassava processing in Niger was hitherto limited to producing only “garri’’ and starch.
“We now know other products can be made from cassava apart from `garri’ and starch.
“So, we believe that if our women can learn how to make these other products, it will be of immense benefit to them,’’ she added.
HarvestPlus is an international agricultural agency which aims at improving nutrition and public health by promoting and developing bio-fortified food crops that are rich in vitamins and minerals.
Its principal sponsors are the UK Government; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the Feed the Future Initiative of the U.S. Government and the European Commission, among others.