CBN boosts cas­sava pro­duc­tion with N53.3m

Business a.m. - - COMMODITIES & AGRICULTURE -

FI­NAN­CIAL BOOST FOR Nige­ria’s cas­sava pro­duc­tion nudged for­ward on Thurs­day as the Cen­tral Bank of Nige­ria (CBN) dis­bursed N53.3 mil­lion to lo­cal farm­ers in Auchi, Edo state through the Ele­phant Group Plc and the Edo State Gov­ern­ment Cas­sava Pro­ject.

A to­tal of 120 farm­ers have re­ceived N444, 800 each, ag­gre­gat­ing N53.3 mil­lion.

Ab­dul­lahi Muhammed, the pro­ject co­or­di­na­tor said the farm­ers grouped un­der the Oze­moya Farm­ers Mul­ti­pur­pose Co­op­er­a­tive Society were ex­pected to cul­ti­vate 240 hectares of cas­sava.

“We want to thank the CBN for giv­ing us the op­por­tu­nity to ac­cess the fund di­rectly; in­di­vid­u­als have got­ten the sum of N444,800 each cred­ited to their ac­counts in readi­ness for the pro­ject. We are ap­peal­ing to the state gov­ern­ment that as the CBN has al­ready dis­bursed the money to the farm­ers, gov­ern­ment should com­mence land prepa­ra­tion so that we farm­ers can start to grow the crop. The sup­ply of chem­i­cals and fer­tilis­ers and train­ing of farm­ers have been com­pleted to make the farm pro­ject a success,” Muhammed ex­plained.

Re­spond­ing to the call for land clear­ing, Mon­day Osaig­bovo, Edo state com­mis­sioner for agriculture as­sured that funds would soon be re­leased in or­der to carry out land prepa­ra­tion for the cas­sava farm­ers to cul­ti­vate.

Cas­sava is one of the agri­cul­tural com­modi­ties which Nige­ria has com­par­a­tive ad­van­tage at pro­duc­ing. How­ever, the larger chunk goes into lo­cal con­sump­tion which farm­ers strug­gle to ser­vice un­der in­ad­e­quate fi­nanc­ing.

Ear­lier in the year, the Nige­ria Cas­sava Grow­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (NCGA) re­quired the cul­ti­va­tion of ad­di­tional 100,000 hectares of cas­sava un­der the Nige­rian In­cen­tive-Based Risk Shar­ing Sys­tem for Agri­cul­tural Lend­ing (NIRSAL) to in­crease pro­duc­tion to two mil­lion tonnes in the bid to ad­dress in­dus­trial de­mands dur­ing this year’s farm­ing sea­son.

Ac­cord­ing to the Food and Agri­cul­tural Or­gan­i­sa­tion (FAO), world­wide pro­duc­tion in 2018 will grow slightly to 277 mil­lion tonnes, a 0.5 per­cent an­nual in­crease af­ter two decades of rapid ex­pan­sion. Trade vol­umes, mean­while, are forecast to de­cline by 36 per­cent.

In sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa, out­put is ex­pected to grow by around 2.0 per­cent to reach a record level of 161 mil­lion tonnes. This would trans­late into a per capita avail­abil­ity of cas­sava as food of around 86 kilo­grams, a slight de­crease from the year be­fore due to faster pop­u­la­tion growth in the re­gion.

Cas­sava is used mainly for pro­duc­ing an­i­mal feed, with the dry roots chips and pel­lets pre­ferred by in­dus­trial an­i­mal feeds pro­duc­ers in Amer­ica and Europe.

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