Wanted: Strategies To Boost Cassava Production

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Strategies To Boost Cassava Production, Stakeholders have called for pragmatic strategies to improve Nigeria‘s position as a leading cassava producer, using innovation and technology.

Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century (GCP21) Director, Dr Claude Fauquet, who spoke at a briefing in Lagos, ahead of the group’s International Cassava Conference slated for June 11 to 15, in Cotonou, Benin Republic, said developing the cassava industry with innovation and technology would add value to products. GCP21 is a not-for-profit international alliance.

He said the demand for cassava by industries would increase mainly in the glue, paper, textile, sweetener, and pharmaceutical sectors.

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Fauguet said though Nigeria was a big player in cassava production, but it had not yet met the cassava needs of Nigerians.

He said: “In comparison with what Africa and other countries produce, cassava productivity in Asia is more than 22 tonnes per hectare, a situation that gives Asia competitive advantage in global trade while Latin America produces 12 tonnes per hectare.

Boost Cassava Production (GCP21)
Boost Cassava Production (GCP21)

“Addressing the yield gap demands more funding for cassava research and development (R&D) from all stakeholders, if truly the world wants to help farmers towards ending hunger and poverty in Africa.”

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Corroborating Fauquet, Prof Malachy Akoroda, Director Designate, GCP21, stressed the imperative of partnership by local operators with experts and other stakeholders and practitioners from different countries of the world. In his words: “This is a conference Nigeria and Nigerians must not fail to exploit. The goal should be how to obtain maximum benefits. Partnership is critical! The Brazilians want to help us. The conference will showcase innovations, new technologies, new systems in cassava being developed elsewhere, including model cassava farmers and hectares.”