The Federal Government has been urged to establish cassava processing plants in all the 774 local government areas to enhance food security in the country.
Jamiu Lawal, Chairman, Niger Chapter, Nigeria Cassava Processors and Marketers Association, made the call on Monday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna.
Lawal said that the measure would also reduce the high cost of livestock feeds, including poultry and fishery in Nigeria.
“The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development should promote the establishment of micro cassava processing industries in each of the 774 local government areas of Nigeria.
“Such plants will ensure enough processed cassava for local consumption and export.
“It will also reduce the high price of livestock feed since the by-products of cassava can be used to make various animal feeds,’’ he said.
He said that unpeeled cassava chips were sources of carbohydrate and in making livestock feeds for poultry, fish, cattle and others.
According to Lawal, there is the need to make animal feed from the unpeeled cassava chips mixed with maize or sorghum.
He said that these by-products had currently gone beyond the reach of the ordinary farmers due to high cost.
The association’s chairman said that cassava processors in Niger were producing unpeeled cassava chips as sources of energy and for livestock feeds, including poultry and other animals.
He said that using unpeeled cassava chips to formulate animal feeds could create domestic market for two million metric tons of cassava products annually.
Lawal said that the cassava processing plants when established, would create direct employment for over 60, 000 Nigerians and enhance the living standard of 600, 000 households.
“About N72 billion could be earned by Nigerians from two million metric tons of domestic market from unpeeled cassava chips for livestock feeds annually.
“Cassava processing industry can be established for between N500, 000 to N5 million, producing between 10 to 50 metric tons of finished products per month.”
Lawal also said that the cassava product was capable of recouping investment on it within two years. (NAN)