Arab Today, arab today staple cassava demonstrates nigerias economic vulnerability
Last Updated : GMT 05:45:46
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

As the plunge in oil prices crimps

Staple cassava demonstrates Nigeria's economic vulnerability

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Staple cassava demonstrates Nigeria's economic vulnerability

International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) spokesman Godwin Atse
Ibadan - Arab Today

Cassava, the starch rusty-coloured root that is a staple in Nigeria, is a paradigm of the problem the import-dependent nation now faces as the plunge in oil prices crimps the economy.

The root is used to make "eba" and "fufu" -- filling pastes that are beloved dishes in Nigerian homes -- but there are a myriad of uses for cassava, including making flour and beer.

The problem -- and opportunity -- that cassava production presents is that Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation, does not produce as much as it could, nor of the quality to make it a thriving business.

To enable Nigeria to wean itself off imports of rice and wheat, a project aims to help farmers ramp up cassava production through a new scheme with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

"Nigeria spends 635 billion naira ($3.2 billion) annually on wheat importation," a leading agronomist and representative of the agriculture minister, Comfort Doyin Awe, said.

Cassava should emerge as a wheat substitute instead, with Nigerians baking loaves of cassava bread, she told experts at a meeting organised by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in the southwestern city of Ibadan late last month.
As it is eaten across west Africa, cassava could even become a much-needed foreign currency earner, if Nigerian farmers and processors can improve the quality of their production.

"We don't add value to our cassava. It will help Nigeria if we do that. We need good quality cassava flour," Awe said.

- Need finance, fertiliser, tools  -

While prices are high Nigeria's oil exports bring in plenty of foreign exchange earnings, helping underpin an exchange rate for the naira that allows the country to import major amounts of wheat flour.

But as prices have crashed from above $100 per barrel in July 2014 to around $30 now the country can no longer afford to do so.

So far the leaders have preferred to limit access to foreign currency to support the exchange rate for the naira, but that approach will soon choke off imports and many see the government ultimately being forced to devalue the unit, making imported wheat unaffordable for many.
That means Nigerians will increasingly look to cassava farmers like Sifawu Safiu.

But that hope looks forlorn as she yanks out tubers from the red soil in a village on the outskirts of Ibadan, shaking her head with disappointment.

"I am not happy with the cassava my farm is yielding," the 61-year-old told AFP.

"I don't use fertiliser. I need financial help to improve my yield."

Fatima Taju, another farmer working on a nearby farm, said she needs better tools.

Unable to afford machines to do the heavy work, small farmers use hoes and machetes to harvest their crops.

The mostly illiterate farmers have scarce funds to buy fertilisers or pesticides and often cannot access resources to learn better cultivation methods.

As a result, cassava output in sub-Saharan Africa stands at 10 tonnes per hectare, far below potential yields of more than 30 tonnes.
- 'Improve yields, quality, supply, incomes'  -

Decades of neglect of the farming industry will have to be overcome quickly if the nation of about 170 million people is to dodge an impending food crisis due to a reliance on rice and wheat imports.

That is where the African Cassava Agronomy Initiative steps in with $14.4 million in funding from the Gates' foundation.

It aims to improve cassava yields in Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo through teaching farmers modern ways of planting and weeding, and linking them up to loan and fertiliser sources.

"This will massively improve the yield and income of farmers," IITA spokesman Godwin Atser said, with improving quality also a goal of the programme.

Up to 150,000 households across the five countries are expected to benefit from the cassava cultivation scheme during its five-year timeframe, said IITA's director for central Africa, Bernard Vanlauwe.

"The value of benefits from this project ... is expected to rise to at least $40 million" during its five-year span, he said.
Source :AFP

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today staple cassava demonstrates nigerias economic vulnerability Arab Today, arab today staple cassava demonstrates nigerias economic vulnerability

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Hats, scarves add beauty to women

GMT 19:10 2017 Friday ,17 February

Hats, scarves add beauty to women
Arab Today, arab today Tourist guide reveals methods of tourist attractions

GMT 17:46 2017 Saturday ,18 February

Tourist guide reveals methods of tourist attractions
Arab Today, arab today To release new antiques collection

GMT 20:33 2017 Friday ,17 February

To release new antiques collection
Arab Today, arab today Leader Omar Abdel Rahman dies in US prison

GMT 19:00 2017 Sunday ,19 February

Leader Omar Abdel Rahman dies in US prison
Arab Today, arab today Murder of 2 reporters in Dominican Republic

GMT 22:45 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Murder of 2 reporters in Dominican Republic

GMT 09:20 2017 Friday ,17 February

Samsung heir arrested in corruption probe

GMT 10:26 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Dollar, equities stutter in Asia after Trump rally

GMT 08:45 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Hanjin saga reveals S.Korea corporate governance flaws

GMT 09:40 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Heineken profits drained in 2016 by currency turmoil

GMT 09:10 2017 Tuesday ,14 February

Sharjah Chamber Eyes Strong Economic Ties with Belgium

GMT 08:23 2017 Tuesday ,14 February

Toshiba dives on shock loss-reporting delay

GMT 08:18 2017 Tuesday ,14 February

Banker-financier Mnuchin sworn in as US Treasury chief
View News in Arabic - Business: أخبار الأعمال
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Kidogo provides childcare for underserved

GMT 20:24 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Kidogo provides childcare for underserved
Arab Today, arab today Tragic fluctuations of Bakhtiari's life revealed

GMT 06:50 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Tragic fluctuations of Bakhtiari's life revealed
Arab Today, arab today London to tax old cars

GMT 14:06 2017 Friday ,17 February

London to tax old cars
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today Competes Sweden and Germans by S90

GMT 22:36 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Competes Sweden and Germans by S90
Arab Today, arab today Porsche reveals new 2018 Panamera

GMT 17:31 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Porsche reveals new 2018 Panamera
Arab Today, arab today Actress Nadeen Al Rassi views art as her entity

GMT 07:30 2017 Saturday ,18 February

Actress Nadeen Al Rassi views art as her entity
Arab Today, arab today Teach monkeys to recognize themselves in mirror

GMT 20:41 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Teach monkeys to recognize themselves in mirror

GMT 07:05 2017 Friday ,17 February

Singer Diana Karzon will issue a new album soon

GMT 06:40 2017 Friday ,10 February

MP calls for removing text from Islamic story

GMT 13:16 2017 Tuesday ,14 February

First fashion model with Down syndrome

GMT 10:26 2017 Tuesday ,14 February

Emergency UN meeting in Harare

GMT 14:04 2017 Tuesday ,14 February

"Lagom" new Swedish concept in interior design

GMT 12:07 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Bite-mimicking malaria vaccine

GMT 09:03 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Tour guide praises women’s beaches

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 21:42 2017 Sunday ,12 February

Rania al-Ghazali designs candles of bubbles
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday