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Hlr:eriaD 1'TlbUDe

14Tuesday, 1-1 August, 201 2

re"rolution I

:In dough. the polley of wheat substi~tion in

lIuction i. spreading aczoss the country, Janrewaju looks at the efforts of the Federal elf Agriculture and Rural Development at e succesS of the cassava bread policy.



NE of :b~ major tbnists of the



is moving agricullure from a development programme int) a business. With this, agriculture "WiD r:o longer be an activity which al ....-ays te-ll'i rea government support but rather it \\.'O'..ILJ become independttltof government an i have the status of an activity that is targeted at ensuring food security. job Clel .tion as well as wealth aeation.. One of the li.J~t stepS taken by the gD\'C1UDeJIt at I DlcOOng these a R:8lity was the policy of substituting wheat with cassavainbrcedpl'oouction. Speakingoo lhsreoenUy,theMinisteroC Agriculture an(! Rural Devclopment; DrAkinwuruni AdClina, said, '"Today, we spend N635billion importing wheal. Our whcatimportis!,-,lWingatthcmteof l 3per cent annually. Ey 2020, it is estimated that at this gnm"th ralr, Nigeria's annual wheal importswill hit 7millionMT, ortheentire wheat exports of Canada, the third larsesl wheat producer- in the wodd. As we do, we willbesbattrrint.t1~hopesoCour farmcnin

Nigma who ~'Hduce crops that can

substituteforW~Clltinbread.· The minister \'1110 was speaking at the graduation cemntmy oCthe mastcrbaken ofEkiti Statc in cassava bn:ad making last week.. added that i: was for that reason that the Jonaih2.n l.dministration resol~ to e n cou r age d~'o_estic substitution for wheat, saying the targf"t "the governmen t wes to I" e du e eo w b eat importation by 4) per c:entinthefirntiIls1!ll1C1e. Al:cordiIlGtolmn. the United State:s oft\merica IS curre:nuy '& its worst drought in 100 yea.n;. The implit'Blionof this is that the pllct: of wheat would rise by at least 50 per ttn and Nigaia, if not 101" the policy of 'V .leat substitution. ....u.J1d be importing 1n1latXon, a situation that woul d further make the economy vu1nerab e.



aansfomtation agenda of the GoodllJ( 'k Jonathan administration

":j!'. .

1he minister said to ensure that the CXJlllltry bmditlr:d from this propamme, the ~l had decided to invom: the

master baker's in the process.. He said. 'To!p the cassava ~ to the masses, it is critical to support oW" master I:lakcn. Ni&'eria has ~ 400, 000 master bakc's. TIlCYnecdacx:essto newcquipment. They need ea:css to Iinanoe. They need aa:zss to training.. This is why Mr ~t appn:wed the establishment of the Cassava Bf'Cad Ocvdopment Fund.. The fund , which comes from the levy on wheat and wh eat flour, v.rill support training cl the master" balren in cassava brad production; provide subsidixdfinanoeto allowthemtoinvestin ncwfOtmylM!flS,chiller.Jarxirnixcr3.Apart &om providing them with the required equipment and racil.ities, the ministersaidthemasterbakerswouldal.9obe tmined to eruI~ oomplianoe wilh gIobo.! standards. Aaxxtiing to him. plans an: wxlerway by his m in istry to partner with s tate p'C'JlffieJlt.s in the tJaining of master bo.kers andlaunchingofcassavabreadacrossallthe 36 states and Federal capital Territory. '"Starter pecks will be provided to master bakers in eYeI)' state to 1Uck-off the com.mercia.Usation of the cassava bread by more than 400,000



To get the cassava bread to tile masses, it is cri tical to support our master bak ers, N1neria has ~

ove r 400, 000 master b k Th d a ers. ey nee access t o new i Th e q u p m e rl t . e Y need access to finance. They need access to training.

in NigeriaandbyCldension ensurecrm.tionof

people, theministersakl., "Cassavabread is



~ stn~t~e~

supporten of wheat Dour that cassava consumption is not good for those with diabe t cs is wholesomely untrue, acienti6cally be.sdess and is a deliberate anempt to misinfonn NigI:rians. • Ac:cording to him. there is actua1Iy a simple test, known as the Glyoemic Indot, to measure h ow quickly sugar is rdeased into the body follcwiJ1Ithe conswnption of a food item. He explained that the higher th e level of the Glyamic Index, the higher thechanoesofaggravatingdiabetes. Going into specifics, he saki, "'Let us start with the F~ bread. popu1arIy ca11ed 'baquetle'. ~ Glycemic Index for cassavaflour,whk:h~fora:dtodoeedown French bread is 95, which puts it in the ~ when Dour mills stopped buying their Bour few years ago, wouJd be back in business. high range for diabetes. Tala!; the foods eaten by the British, the popuJar English ~t is upgrading their facilities so they can produce moce cassava Ilour. 1hcir Muffins, haveaGlyccmic lndex 0f77, in the . high range for diabetes. Now take whole lOrtuneswilisoonchange..wheat flour bread, which you all eat e\'C)' The minister aI.9o saki that, -rbe Federal day, it has Gtyo::mic \ndeJI: of71 , again on Government is racrutating the importation of the high side. You all eat com flakes c:YO)' mastcrbo.kersacross 700 OOOlpacl mills, which will deo:ntm.lise day, right? The Glycemic Index of com thccountJy,· he said. . private sector milling of wheat and mixing and flakes is 82, which is He added thatthe produc tio n o f premix very high. Only 100 • r--..!~ ~ • -..' -:-~r '­ governme n t had composite cassava 1Iour, to per cent whole: wheat _~<~ -.1--1 totally ~ the be sold directly to master bread (that is the one levy on enzymes bakers iUld households. in which the husk and Sulaimoh Ola nrewaJu needed for cassava nus will standa.rdise the the bran an: intact) l'f'(llIfU'~ j ·dl/Ill bt-c:ad, meaning that pnxiuction of cassava !loUT has a G1yoemic Ind~ tJ/lfl,jf1fJ/-;-t!1l the~e9oouk1be and make it available in of 51,whichis~to - -" ..duty free to every nook and cranny or imported Talwo OlanrewaJu that of cassava Dour in thc:country. Nigeria, 'Wd reduce the 08162086407 Nigeria at 59: He, Aa:onling to him, monopolyoftheflourmilling ~, dismissed Tunde Ogunesan two private sector" industry. These compact all insinuatioos about 08029755212 companies a re mills will be sold to young cassava bn!:ad bcing ~y\\'Oricingwith g r a d u ate s an d RoUmllge injurious to health the manufacturer of entJq)renel1n to create a 58ying those peddling 08053384048 the cassava enzyme new class of businesses ' tbe rumour were Doyln Adeoye imprt711'ef'8 in South ca1lc:d'oompadmilk:n'" t.hote benefitting from Africa to facilitate its While assuring those 08058130577 h aemorrhag in g Ioc:aI prutuction, 0. who. might have oonoerns Nigeria', resourees Ruth Olurounbl move Ulat would about the suitability of 080669 14897 createanewindustry cassava ~ b diabetic importation ofwbeat.. He, ~. said the issue was beyond cassava Imad, stating that the government Was poised to trigger" an industrial revolution based on cassava. -As other countries in Africa want to embrace cassava bread and m::Iuce their importS ofwheat, Nigeria is M:ll positioned to become the leader. We can export cassava fJaur rm- bread to other anmtric:s. We are alraldy exportinge»ssava chips to China. which wiD eam our Iiumers andpnxcsson 136rnillionUSdoLlan.tie added that as cassava bread was embraad by Nigerians, many of the 156 small and mediwn-size companies producing