The Regional Director of the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (ICTA), Dr Debisi Araba has called on Nigerians to give more priority to cassava production in the country.
He explained that this would create job opportunities for the populace and enhance food stability.
He said that cassava had advantages over other crops because it grew well in any part of the country and had huge value chain.
“Cassava has grown to become one of the most popular staple food crops in Nigeria, prioritising it therefore, means promoting the commodity’s production to enhance food security, reduce poverty and promote rural development. As a source of starch for example, it is highly competitive, the root contains more starch than almost any other food crop, and the starch is easy to extract using simple technologies. This can go a long way to create more jobs for the growing population of the country,” he said.
Araba added that the value chain in the commodity’s production and processing were enormous to improve the country’s economy.
The director therefore urged government at all levels to encourage smallholder farmers in the production of cassava because the country had the capacity to produce it in larger quantity to feed the rest of the world.