A commodity exchange firm known for connecting small holders farmers to financial and commodity markets, AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited, has said cassava chips can replace a good proportion of cereals used in the composition of poultry and livestock feeds, adding that it is also targeting a volume of 300million metric per ton per annum for cassava chips production in Nigeria.
This was disclosed by the Country Manager of AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited, Ayodeji Balogun, in statement issued at the end of a day business meeting organised in partnership with Agribusiness Supplier Development Programme (ASDP), held at the Kankanfo Inn, Ring road, Ibadan.
The partner, ASDP, is a regional initiative of the UNDP with a mandate to promote the development of the supply chains of rice and cassava in Nigeria. ASDP Nigeria is being implemented jointly by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing Systems for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The event themed “inclusive Business Acceleration for Cassava Value Chain in Nigeria,” brought about over 50 farmers and other agriculture stakeholders to discuss the development of cassava value chain in Nigeria.
Balogun said “a lot more still needs to be done to ensure that the extra productions [of cassava] are fully utilised.”
He added that “the goal of the collaboration is to jointly work together to bring about an inclusive business acceleration for cassava value chain in Nigeria. AFEX has the market reach and contact, as a major private sector concern in commodity marketing in Nigeria and beyond.
“AFEX also see cassava as a strategic crop and value chain that has immense potentials for inclusive growth, job creation and poverty eradication across Nigeria. The ASDP project is bringing on a specialized approach to commodities value chains development”.
“It is our hope that accelerating the growth of the cassava value chain will help extend the benefit of cassava industrialisation to major sectors in Nigeria. Cassava chips can replace a good proportion of cereals used in the composition of poultry and livestock feeds. Work on this has gone beyond experimentation, as we now have well established standards for the inclusion of cassava chips or peels in animal feeds. The current target for cassava chips production in Nigeria is in the range of 300 million metric ton per annum.”
The meeting saw the participants going through different sessions by various facilitators like: cassava value chain acceleration- ASDP involvement and the need to expand and accelerate other cassava derivatives, among others.
the idea of the cassava chips markets, how to process cassava chips, making cassava chips processing profitable and identifying and pairing willing mentor and protege.
Earlier in his address, the Director, Planning and Policy coordination, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and rural development, Auwal A. Maidabino, noted that the government believed that cassava is strategic for food security and for foreign exchange earnings.
He said to attain the objectives; the Federal Government has put in place an institutional framework to promote agribusiness and investment while it is also working with some key stakeholders in the sector.
His words: “ASDP is focusing on production of cassava chips because of Nigeria’s insignificant market share of the dry chips global trade. In 2012, Nigeria secured orders from China for dry chips totalling 2.2 million metric tons and the first shipment to China of Nigeria’s dry chips took place in August that year.
“Efforts are now under way to link cassava farmers and processors to the export trade on chips, hence the need to urgently improve cassava chips production and supply chain system to meet demands from other countries.”