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Page 38, THIS DAY, Vo115, No. 5553

Nigeria Lauds IITA over Strides in Cassava Value Addition he Ni~rian government has lauded the [nternational Institute of Tropical . Agricu ltu re [IITA) for its contribution


towards cassava enterprise

development . as the country intensifies the campaign to its economy.

d i ve~ify

TIle commendation was made ' by the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Senator Jubril Martins-Kuye. during the inauguration of a Garri Processing Center in

Lafia. Nasarawa State. The Center which is the third to be · commiss ioned within two years is funded by the Common Fund for

Commcx:lities but implemented by IlTA and partners includin g the Federal Mini suy o f Commerce & Industry. and

the Faml and Infrastructure Foundation. The two, earlier inaugurated by the team included Joe

Bergg Cassava Processing ~ac ­ tory in Masaka. Nasarawa State : and Shaback Gari Processing factory in Kuje ,


In his words, Martins-Kuye said , "I must also UTA. the Project Agency, for the ir efforts towards the

appreciate Executing relentless success of project." The Gari Processing factory in Lafia comes as a relief to a women group of more than 50

Ihal are engaged in gam processing in the village of Ae.wan Mada , a suburb in ulfia.

By Crusoe Osagie Specifically, it has a capaci· ty of processing at least one tonne of gari per day in a hygienic environment thereby guaranteeing food ~a rety arid security. Martins-Kuye who was represented by the Pennanent Secretary. FMC&I. Dr. A . K. Muhammad said the processing center wou ld add value, enhance competiti veness and

reduce waste in ' the cassava value chain. Accord ing to him , "For any commodity to attract premium price in tlle market , both locally and internationally, it must necessarily pass through some level of processing." While expressing the willingness of Nigeria to continually support such projects , the minister noted tl,at the Gari Processing Center would not only absolu the cassava pro-

duced in the counuy but also spur the cultivation ofthe crop. The Women Leader of the benefiting group , MIs. Talatu Umaru, who spoke on behalf of her colleagues, pledged that the group would ensure judie cious use of the factory. She commended the UTACFC team for coming to their aid , stressing that tJle Center would make their jobs easier, increase their incomes and improve ij velihoods.

Prof. Lateef Sanni, !ITACFC Project Coord inator, emphasized that the development of value chain projects seek to shift the cou ntry's aUention from oil ,-a commodity that currently provides more than 90 per cent of the country's revenue-generate employment and create sustai nable wealth. According to him , the establishment of cassava processing centers across the country is necessary for

increased cassava pnxiuction in the country and wealth generation in the local communities in particular. He explained that the gari processing center was part of a bigger project funded by the CFC in three countries including Nigeria , Benin and Sierra Leone . Sanni also urged the N igerian govemment to replicate the processing centers in other communities.

'Full Participation of Women Key to Tackling Htinger'


ackl ing hunger requires moving from talk to action in ensuring U,at women farmers have equal access to a{!'I;cultural resources and an equal voice in decision making at all levels, Food and Agric.ulture Organisation (FAD) has said as a high-level UN meeting put genderequalj· ty and- women's -empowennent at the top of the agenda. , Women grow more than half of the world's food , yet often lack access to resources such as agricultural inputs, land, fuiancing, technologies, training and markets. At a side event jointly organized by FAD. the International Fund for Agricultural Development (!FAD) 8/Xr the World Food Progmmme (WFl') during the Annual Ministerial Review of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECDSOC), participants examined how to

overcome critical gaps ih lhe advancement of rural women. event. From Dialogue to action: how to promote lhe empowelment of ru.raJ women in agriculture. looked al eff011s in a number of Countries tQ take action 00 critical issues facing nirafwomen. Count women in For Liberian Minister of "Florence Agriculture Chenoweth , tllC key to ensuring effective targeting of scarce resources is· improved agricultural data coUection. Sex-disaggregated .. statistics have enabled the government to more accurately· target traicing and inputs to the rural women who produce more than 50 percent of tl,e counuy's food, she said. . Now, says Clienoweth, "When the trucks leave M onrovia, our capital, for the field , the seed rice says ·women'.. 111e fertilizeL says,


·women'. The portion tJ13t we have calculated to go to those women is targeted and it is written." . In 2009. thecOUlltry saw a43 percent increase in the prt?duction of staple cro~ rice and cassava, Chen~veth said. "So we know that tJlose women were· getting some benefit." Patricia Haslach, Deputy Coordinator for Diplomacy of the US Department of State's Feed the Future initiative, said that women are "front and centre" in the U.s. Govemmenrs development strategy. "When women earn more income, they spen·d more on food and their children's health . and nutrition," said Haslach. toBy investing more in women, we amplify benefits across families and generations." Secret31Y or State. Hil1ary Clinton has an addendum to the age-old proverb: "Give a man a fish 311d he'l1 eat for a day, but

teach a man to ftsh and he'll eat for a lifetime," Haslach said. "If you teach a woman to fish. she'U feed her whole villaee." Feed the Future's- womencemred approach is not about "giving preference for the sake of giving preference. les about being effective in implenlenting our strategy," Haslach said. adding that a robust monitoring and evaluation system would enslU'e assistance that is "agile. adaptive and evjdence-based" . "Agricul~re is production. Production is power. and power is ownership, entitlement," said Neriede Segala Coelho. a grassroots leader and famrer from

Coelho said that as a result or women's participation in a consultati ve process in her own community of Pintadas, cisterns were built to store warer in ~very house·. and drip irrigation and other low-cost, appropriate tedmologies were introduced to improve I'roduction and women's living conditions. generate income and use resources more sustainably. Supporting Haitian women Myrta Kaulard , WFl' Counuy Director for Haiti , discussed how !FAD. FAD and WFP were working together to strengthen Haitian women's access to adequate food and nutrition , income-earning opportunities. nnd basic services and infrastmcture by integealing social investments. such as water and sanit.:'l.tion. health and education into amcultura1 and rural , econonlic programmes.

Brazil. "As long as women are seen as submissive and restricted to the role of recipient and beneficiary. agriculture will continue to have a large gap." said CoelllO. "When women sit at the table·to make decisions. the process takes a different shape ."

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THISDAY, Vol.16 No.5553  

Zanzibar Shows Way in Battle against Cassava Disease

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