Nigeria’s foreign exchange policy has encouraged massive local production and sale of cassava, the Nigeria Cassava Growers Association (NCGA) has said.
The association said on Thursday in Abuja that the policy has created more markets for cassava, adding that the demand from both local and foreign processing companies for the staple food had increased.
The policy stipulates a single market for acquisition of foreign currency and only authorised dealers are allowed to trade on interbank markets.
Mr. Segun Adewumi, NCGA’s National President, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that some cassava derivatives which companies used for industrial purposes included ethanol, industrial starch, glucose syrup, cassava flour and sweetener.
According to him, cassava can inject over six trillion naira into the country’s economy if adequately explored.
Adewumi also said that although the cost of production and transportation had increased, cassava farmers were currently making huge profits from the sale of their produce.
“The good impact of the recession is that many companies can no longer raise foreign exchange to buy most of the luxury things that they used to buy from abroad.
“The companies have now started looking inwards; so, local products like cassava now have a very good market.
The only type of cassava that was not in demand now, he said was the over matured type; the ones that can no longer be used by industrial markets but they can only be made into `garri’.
“But the young and newly harvested cassava is in high demand in the markets because producers of ethanol, industrial starch, cassava flour, glucose need this type urgently.
“Any farmer that has huge capital to grow cassava now will make good profit though the cost of production is high,’’ he said.
Source: <Naija 247>