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Monday, May 10, 2010

THISDAY, Vol. 15, No. 5496, Page 43

IITA Boosts .

NatiOnal Coordinalor, gramme National de Developement des Racines . et Thbercules (pNDRT), Mr. Ngue Bissa Thomas, has said that Cameroon has more Illan doubled cassava yield. using improved cassava planting materials from Ille International Inslitute of Tropical Agriculture. "From IO IOnnes per hectare, fanners are now harvesting between 25 and 30 tonnes per

Th

By Crusoe Osagie hectare," says Thomas, National Coordinalor, PNDRT, during Ihe presentation of cassava chipping machines to beneficiaries in CanJeroon. Aocording 10 him, cwrentiy cassava production in Cameroon is estimated aI 23 million toruJeS. "It is expected Ihe figure 10 be higher after a countty review of crop statistics," he added.

atneroon s He said that Ihe countty cultivated mainly for its starchy roots and leaves as vegetable adding that most farmers' varieties in Cameroon are susceptible to pests and diseases Illat cause substantial yield losses. "Using conventional breeding melllods, UTA has produced improved varieties willl multiple resistances to diseases, peSLS, low cyanide content, short crop cycle, and high yield, and in some cases resistance to

Intervene on Aviation Fuel Cost, Govt Urged he CEO of one of Nigeria's major airline operators, . Aero Contractors , Mr. Shaf Syed, has called on dle Federal Government 10 look into d,e high prices. of aviation fuel (Jet A I) to make it affordable to Ille airlines. since Ille product cost in Nigeria does not reflect its price in !.he intemation~ all1talXet. Aocording to Syed, airlines spend over 40 per cent' of lheir earnings on aviation fueJ 3!1d it will cost NSOO.ooo to fuel a Boeing 737 aircraft for one hour return trip, like Lagos-AbujaLagos. In an interview with lHJSDAY at Ihe weekend, Ille Aero boss urged government to appraise Ihe cost of aviation fuel and find ways to reconcile Ille selling price of Ihe 'product in Nigeria to its international price, claiming Ille cost of Jet Al in Nigeria is Ille highest in the continent and beyond. "The Federal Government needs to take' a good look at aviation by making Ihe commodity (aviation fuel) much more competitive, for I believe Ihe aviation fuel in Nigeria is Ille most

T

By Chinedu Eze expensive in dlis region." Syed also said Illat governnJent should also look at Ihe cost of borrowing money in Ille countty. noting thai interest r3LeS are exorbitant, and requested that goveffi!T1ent should eannark funds for lending to air1ine operators at minimum rate; the way it was done for the agriculture sector. "When you look at Ihe cost of borrowing from Ille banks, I mink it needs 10 COnJe down, for aviation is a marginal business; its high revenues, and high cost, so your rnara"llt in between is light and any variation can take it Ihe other way; so Ihe cost ofborrowing needs 10 be addressed. When I look at agriculture as Ihe strategic sector of Ihe economy, so I believe Illere are sources of funds available to dlem, !hose ' funds should be made available to aviation as well as at those

exploitative and makes Ille Nigerian operational environment highly challenging to do business. The Aero boss remarked Illat in olher countries such charges are waived as incentive to the airlines, which are critical in the soci<HOCOnomic developnJent of any nation.

drought.

Suc~

improved vari-

eties conslilUte environmentally

sound and economically efficient options for combating pests and diseases," he said. Thomas said !hat dle countty's next challenge is processing and dle creation of marketS for cassava fanners and LO avoid glut. "In collaboration with UTA, we have developed 100 processing machines that we are giving to .famJers today", he said. He stated that willl a processing capacity of betWeen J20kg per hour and 200kg per hour as opposed to manual chipping of 5kg per hour, Ihe machines are set 10 ease d,e drudgery associated willl cassava processing in rural Cameroon. He noted that Ihe PNDRT project, which is funded by Ille International Fund ' for Agricultural Development (!FAD), involves 250 villages across Cameroon saying that local fanners have benefited

from Ihe project. President of Ille Rural Consultative Comminee of Minkoa, . a women-fanner group, Nke Susanne, said Ihe implementation of Ille project has improved cassava production in their corrununity. She added !hat Ihe non-oil export sector of Ille Nigerian economy is where it is today due to failure of Ihe nation to harness Ihe great potential of its natural resources. ''It is sad to .say Illat we have not scratched up to five per cent of Ihe potentials in Ihe induSlIy. That is why I keep telling people d18t I will die believing in Ihe non-oil expnrt sector because it holds tile futUre for Nigeria," she said ''The problem we have is Illal we have been blindfolded into believing Illat our survival is tied 10 oil. Whereas we are being destroyed by Ihe day because we wiU n01 lake our eyes away from Ille oil and look at olher

She said Ihe industty is still contributing less dtan 5 per cent 10 Ihe economy, saying that Ille people in charge willl Ille develoPnJent of Ihe expnrt sector do not have enough tinJe to do wha! lhey are doing. "l lllink Olere is a need for boIh players in Ihe industty and !hose who are managing Ille industty to eO{Jle togelher and agree on Ihe way 10 move forward," she said. She stated that Ille problem of Ihe nation is a genentl apallly on dle pan of Ole players, stressing Illat lhere is d,e need for more education onlhe pan of Ote players to see Ihe Potentials in Ihe industty and play according to Ihe rules. '1 think one of Ihe pmblems of Ihe sector is that lhere is a lot of gap between Ihe players in Ihe industry and the government and I lhink Ihe present management of Ihe Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) is ttying to bridge that gap," site added.

rates."

He said that airtines should not be paying customs charges when dtey bring in spare parts, noting Illat such payment is

Slain LASTMA Officials: Lagos Pays N3.7m Insurance Claims agos State Government has paid N3 .77 million to Ille fanlilies of five officials of Ille Lagos State Traffic Management Aulllority who died last yw. The LASTMA officials according to a statement made available to THlSDAY, included Alabi NiclJolas, Ogunttiyi Alaba, Dosunmu Sherif and Ajibade Taiwo. Nicholas had died as a result of injuries sustained in a road accident whiJe riding on a motor bike at the of old intersection tollgate. Lagos/Ibadan Ogunniyi AJaba also died after a road acc ident at Ikorodu Roundabout willie Dosunmu Sherifs dealll was due to pulmonary embolism. Ajibade Taiwo was said to have died as a result of cardiac arrest.

L

By Justilla Okpanku The Chief Executive Officer of LASTMA, Me. Young Arebamen , who presentOd Ille cheques to Ille families of Ille deceased, commiserated willl Ille bereaved, saying Illat Ille agency was obliged to pay Ille claim to reduce Illeir burden. The agency's CEO was said to have as urged the next of kins of Ille deceased to make judicious use of the money. He said Illat Ille priority of the families should be how to ensure Illat Ille children of Ille dead LASTMA officials were educated and properly trained. Areballlen added Illat Ille families of Ille deceased should at all times guid~ the children to be responsible citizens.

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THISDAY, Vol.16 No.5496  

IITA Boosts Cameroon's Cassava Output

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