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Monda.x June 11, 2012



The big cassava b Effective July 1,2012, Nigerians are expected to conswne loaves of bread with 40 percent cassava content. But there are odds against the move as both operators (bakers, flour millers) and the legislatiVl~ arm of goverrunent appearecl set to work against the policy. Will this cassava policy fail the third time?


By Bamldele Obafemi




th"'Y .y. But twft:e, the Fedual G~f1Imenl of Ni· &erla had been ~atc:n 0YC:r" l~ policy of lnlrodUcinl cassava

as • aubsutute 'x wheat in the production or ty eMf and other confectionery. J IDYeS to aun.ct

higher value rrr the produce eqJOrt baft abo been • han! odL The IonS bettk- to introduce C8~"" flour .. e·ther an alternative or auppllar.eot (or wheal began .,.y bad in the military er1I • It .., lS decreed that C8SUVII con1C:nt ut bn::ad and other ODnfcctioflny should be


aUt perotnl

f'ut that policy cou1d not stanl the test of lime as It becam .. h 8'Ory almOlt . . .oon .. it waa Jnlroduced. otuaqun ObManjo, durin. hi. oghl year lrnure . . 0';1ian pn::atdent dusted the poUcy file and again, remtroduced the caa. .va conletlt policy which

became vay x puJar. 'Null a

JOOd number of Hi~. secklnl way. 10 bendt, menl espe-

cially. from the aportatJon of pellett in CD:hange (01'" hard CUlTCflcy Oeml truly am· biliou. abcIut the project. the Obasanjo adrnitualnltXm jeTkeel up C:U_VIII e»ntmt in bread and othel" co,uecbonery to 30 pen:cnl, but 111~ ,lashed ca&88Y11 indtUiot, to five. per cenL Yet, ~ polk' did not outlive. that adrDlnu uauon. as the mthusiasm ,tout tnereUin&

the nJue chtJrt of the local.Iy. grown staple "Oot crop suddenlyApun. ~.dent Goodluck Jonathan anJ hb Apiculture Minister. Dr,'Utinwunml Ad· esina. in thCtr vigorouI,ly pur· sued A.£ricuI~ Transfonnation A&enda, A....A. are C\IJTeJltly the the campaign increase the value clWn ofeas.. • ... One of the

ways. accordm,g to Adesl · na, Is to enforce the inclullon of 40 of pcrnent ___.. Dour in bn:ad

President Jonathan hasYOwed that cassava bre.d would become a sll\ple on his breakfaat table. He argued Wt the beat way Nigeria could grow Ita economy and create jobs for ita citizen. i. for the people to patromse IocalJy made goods. Just of reccot. the pn:stdent formally launched the commeroaltaation of cauava bread to boost the govanmcnt'. policy and cncou~ the substitution of quality cas_va 60ur for ~t Bour in bread baking. The pmroident. leading by example, m front of teleYisioo cameras -omebme recently, shared a k»l of unsweetened bread with 40 percent au.... Hour mput with his 'ftCe presidult. Namadi Sambo and miniaten To inspln: millen, Mken. confeclionen and cateren who daily make use of Bour to em· brw;:e the change. gow:rnmcnt has introduced aome form 01 incenUves and liacal meuUTeS to encouraae the policy. For in· stance, under" the new policy, millen 1Iri.I1 enjoy corporate ta.1: ~baU'8, while equipment for prvceuinc the Hour

since most diabetic patients are barred from con1umlf1& roods into the seemtnKly laudabk such as cauava... programme Only recently, the ~h will be inf'nngm, on kJwer chambt'r of the National people's riR,hta and endanpAssembly in one voice, threw ing their lives to compul..ruy the bill into. trash can 'They tnclude m, whst they wx:used the executive arm of eaL· And that _s the lasl JOYef!UDent of fortinE the pol- strs_ that broke the camel's icy on Nlgenana beck as Emelal Ihedtoha. DepIronically, Peter- Edeb, • uty Speaker called for a VOice member of the House of Rep- vote whk:h supported the ar· gument of Edeh, hence the bill ~tatives. who c:aUed fOl'" the rejection of the bill. Is a memo ..... unanimoualy rejected. as bt'r of the rulin, party. Edeh majonty of the lawmakers who had argued that compdltn, wen: opposed to the policy aI· manufacturers of flour to In- lqedly urged the execuuve ann clude cassava would lIn'Iount of government to find alterns to coercing NlBCriana to eal live. ways of enhancm, the ClI( products that might be injuri- portabOn of caasaVII, instead of ous to their health. He a.I.lqed makin, it • compuJsory in~ · that between 30 and 40 percent dimt m bread. of Ni~a are diabetic and The lawmakers, howevtoT, that iI will be unfair to compel sppear not to be the only obsta· lhem to eat cauaVII products cle on the path of malan, casaelUnf; the fedmll lawmakers (the National Auembly) to buy

composite Bour blending will be

duty free . For the bak· en on the other hand. baIu:riea .nIl have up to 18 months to make the tranSition. And to discourage Nlgenans from g0ing after • 100 pl!:lUnl wheat bread and other confectioner· iea, wheat flour will attract • fur1.her levy of 65 percmt to bnnl the executive duty to 100 peTCmt, wh.i1e p-ains will attract 15 pen:enl more in addl· uon to the aiating five perccnL The ~ment has said besides inc:reasin& the value chain of the country's apicul. tural products and creatin, wealth (01'" local farmers and booadn, the Oro.. Domestic Product of the naOOn, it wouJd Ave a stagenn, $3.9 blUion (about N608 billion) whk:h it


annuaUy on the im-

portation of wheat, If the policy ..ds throu&h this time around But notwithstandin, the good. intentions of punment, Bldfn....

eou,.... ftndinp re-

ft81 Wt th~ are a thousand and one hurdles Dr. Adeaina



and his team will have 10 over· come If the pTOlJ'f'UDe must see the light of the day. The most challc:ncinc one is






A3 21


read debat·e

....".. an etlSTtial mgrccilent in bJaid mnkiJlI In Nigeria. Even the AuorJallon of Muter Bak· en. Conree !CRUS and Caterers of Nif.crh jo not KCm to be aliiJ1ini ltat If.,..lh the _,fOnda ~~l _ Though Bayo Folann. Prnl1ent vi the IlSIIOoauon woukf not want to be seen as a a. ltoleUr, he did not bdieve tha! Or Adeatna IUld hia team • til mue head_y with ~ p' ·licy. Clung fKtors like lack of ' mimn" equipment • s majOr ob~ncJe. Folann . U~ that the 10\'ernmenl h, d ~ to aha. any bakrf" In tht country. the recipe ~ to :nakc the policy 8y. despite the bct that lUI commencm1~n' d lte had been fixed for Juty I ~Jn the fint place. the lOWf1\J;].cnl. which Is !.he d.rrwr and I'l"' of the new policy, has 0')1 brought any of


production or the final product But wbtle Folarin and memben or hi. Associauon ~ bulY ruon, ovt'I'" the tmmin~t change that will begin to take effect in a few day. time , l1TC Ploc and Food Concc=pUl , two or tM . ¥ I t bakers m the coun try have blaz:ed the lnlil by commluloning healthy cu· .. va-based bread and confeetionanes. "In particular, UTe hal been the leader, and has lOne ahead to more bakers who ~ ready to Mopt the new techn~ Dr Adesu\al ~thuaed

Hour, it haJJ nlway. bet!n easy. But ah~ and moving away from thia U rough the new policy entail. nUlny thinp, includInS total .,.~tructuring of our machint-ry -D the areas of bIlkeryand caiw", processlnslnto the rcq~1 HOW" .tandarcr. he

At the rc:o:nt launch of cas bread in Abuja, lTf'C and Food Con<:q)tI reeled out the progress they have made on eauava bread Foluso Olaniyan, ChkfExecuuve Officer, IJTC Nigeria, SAId her company had enYiaaged that the move to produce bread would be .ucceurul. hence, her resolve to buy into the dream with pantOn "l1TC was .,.aalonate about lUI goal despite the ract tlwot it wal unlure or how or whm these aoalI ~.'Ould be achieved. The company encountend lle'\l'el'al .ett.cJc.s, but .... able to find a path around these oblt.adel It took nlu and it paid olJ"'. she



the requirrd equipment Into the counUj Ne are bakua; all we do is to JO to millen to procut't

Dour n the case of wheat

He further noted that be.ken are yd to rett:I~ traminl

on the ne'll techruques

that would he involved In the

Olaniyan aplained that ar92 triall and almost three months rrom the date or Ita initial trial, the company _I able


to crack the nut, and in February '2012, It adu~ a commen:ial red~ ror WhIte Bread and Wh"'t Grain CurrmtJy, the companY'1 bread containl :w perce.nt high quahty cauava wbtle it hal aI-'O ltandardiAed and commeraalJsed III Cakes and C hopsy Bttr Roll reci~ with 30 perttnt htgh quality UTe has succeslrully re placed wheat Hour content in not jult bread, but in bedrolls, doughnuts, cakes. apple pies• C'TOISMDlI , mdk bread, pain au ream, cookies, and burger- roll. 112 product. in total), all within three month • . ~ith our monthly con sumption or high quality cas sava standing at 65 toni, ~ can be rega rded al the lingle highest consumer or high quatny cassava In ~ be.kin& In dustry," she added Food Concepts like its com · petilOf", UTe, has also succeufully added '20 percent high quali ty flour to III bread. The makers o( But tcrfield bread saki it took o~ rune months (or It to set to the final point of rormulation which hal been tntcd and round to be .oceptable to conlumers ~e havoe now commerc:ialised the product In Laaoa and AbuJa, and our other bakeries will follow WIthin the next three to Ii:.: mOnthl,-oeJI AkinyanJu, Chid Executive Ollittl'" or the

companydiscto.ed. But as noted by the Mll!Iter Baken AssociaUOn, lranaiURS &om 100 pen:cnt wheat ~ to 60 pc:rccnt wheat and 40 percent cassava will require the sovernment to do more than It haa prorrused as the two Nig.enan corpon.te bakers who have taken It upon themselves to run ah",d or othe.... are callin, on sovernment to come to thor reacue. One o( theIT expecta· tions (rom the IQYUTlment II to &lve them Import duty waiver on enzymes (magtC 1M)luuonsj In high quality cassava recipes, which they clatm are Imported at high COIlt, brought about by high frel8hun, cost. 'T'hq (corpof'llte ~I claimed that WIthout these enzymes that are Dot CUl"T'eDtly manufactured In Nigeria. cassava breed manuracturing WIll raJ! Since hlah quality cauava Hour does not contain gluten, a Y1ta1 component ror breed baking Anothe!" area which Olaniyan IS .aliat· Ins government's Intervention ia marketinl campaign to drive the new revolution mto the head or consumers Meanwhlie the deaalOfl or the Houae of Reps to ~t down the cassava btli Rem. to be casUO, pall on the main beneficiaries or the cu.s.ava bread policy, the farmers. and expectedly they ~ not foldin& their anns. JUst recently, cusava ranners rrom all pe.I"U of

the country staged a protest at the National Anembly over the rejection o r the bill Prof AI rred lhekoronye:, I..dder or the protesun, rarmer, who also il the Exccuuve DIrector of Agto Development Technok>cY Inllia live, d~bed the PCJ'S'Uon of the lawmakers as ~tfuI. The angry rarmers car· ned placan:l.s WIth InllCllptions auch as • Pie... don \ kill cassava. You ale cassava to '""" up, FOrelgn food meanl foreign debt. Don' starv'e Nigerian. who elected you ', among olb en H~ . conU"a1y to the heaJlb ciatm canvassed by the anti-cassaVII bill campaigners, Ignauua Ontmawo. a proreuor and the preaid~t of ~ Nu triUon Society of Nig.ena, 18)'8 adding cassava Hour to bread wtll not agravale diabetes. Onimawo disclosed that the glycemic Inda (Gil, 'a numerical system of measuring how much or a nae In ClI"C'Ulauna blood. augar. a carbohydf'llte) triggcn. II lower In compared to wrute wheaL ~e hl.gher the number 01 01 , the p-eatcr the blood auPT respon.e", he .said emn, nutrition authonues. Adestna himaelf compared the &lycemtC tndex or ca.saava With thoee. or other roods .1n thell" Inslahtful study titled 'Olytt. mic indices or se:lected Nicenan Hour meal products in male type 2 diabetJC subJects', Fa.sanmade. A.A ., Anyakudo. M C . (2007). published m Diabetulogw CrouUca 36~ 2 , 2007. the authora compared casNva flour WIth yam flour. maIZe Hour and wheat fl our amon, diabetic paUenll The gIyttmic: indK:cs are. Yam flour: "9 .81, Cassava flour: 59.3"; Maize 54 .83; Wheat Hour: 70. 10 . This shoWl clearly that cu.sa_ lIour has much lower gIyttmic indo than wheat Hour Yam Hour has the lowe.t glyeemk: index Wheat flour. which is what ~ are bema told to conlume, has high glycemic index.. So. which o ne i. sood for you; cassava Hour or wheat Hour? It i. clear, Ilia cassava Hour," he saKI He ~l on to compare the glycemic indices for 1M)me of the exotic foods that are bema promoted rOr Nigenans "Let us atart With the French bread, popularly called 'banquette' The glycemic 1ndeJt: (m- Frmch bread .. 95. whJch pull it In th~ very high IWlge for diabetes White wheat flour haa &IyccmM: indeJ[ of 71 , which la in the high range ror dJabetes. Take the roods eaten by the British,



The big cassava bread debate