Nigeria imports cassava derivatives valued at about $600 million annually, the head of the country’s central bank has said.
Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the Nigerian central bank, disclosed this at a meeting with governors of cassava-producing states on Thursday in Abuja.
The CBN also signed Memorandum of Understanding with Nigeria Cassava Growers Association and Large Scale Cassava Processors at the event.
According to Emefiele, the country was blessed with several varieties of cassava that could be explored to optimum potential.
He, however, pointed out that there was a need to adopt improved varieties and practices that would guarantee better yield, better processing efficiency, increased profit and improved standard of living for the farmers.
The CBN governor said: “In achieving this goal, we are holding consultations with the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan and the National Root Crops Research Institute, Umudike.
“Apart from foreign exchange conservation, increasing cassava production is a necessity as starch, glucose, sorbitol and other products currently being imported.
“Statistics show that out of the 53.0 million metric tonnes of cassava produced in Nigeria annually, more than 90 percent is processed into food for human consumption.”
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