The Nigerian Online Newspaper

CBN forex policy boosting cassava business – NCGA President

The Nigeria Cassava Growers Association said on Thursday that the current Central Bank of Nigeria foreign exchange policy had encouraged massive local production and sale of cassava in the country.
Pastor Segun Adewumi, NCGA’s National President, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.
NAN reports that the policy stipulates a single market for acquisition of foreign currency and only authorised dealers are allowed to trade on interbank markets.
The association’s national president said that the policy had created more markets for cassava, adding that the demand from both local and foreign processing companies for the staple food had increased.
He listed some cassava derivatives which companies use for industrial purposes to include ethanol, industrial starch, glucose syrup, cassava flour and sweetener.
According to him, cassava can inject over six trillion naira into the country’s economy if adequately explored.
Adewumi also said that although the cost of production and transportation had increased, cassava farmers were currently making huge profits from the sale of their produce.
Adewunmi said: “The good impact of the recession is that many companies can no longer raise foreign exchange to buy most of the luxury things that they used to buy from abroad.
“The companies have now started looking inwards; so, local products like cassava now have a very good market.
“The only type of cassava that is not in demand now is the over matured type; these can no longer be used by industrial markets but they can only be made into ‘gari’.
“But the young and newly harvested cassava is in high demand in the markets because producers of ethanol, industrial starch, cassava flour, glucose need this type urgently.
“Any farmer that has huge capital to grow cassava now will make good profit though the cost of production is high.”
Adewunmi expressed regret that cassava farmers across the country had lost over N1 billion to herdsmen clashes in recent times.
The NCGA national president said that the development was a major setback in the fight to achieve food security in the country.
Adewumi frowned at the refusal by the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation to pay compensation to cassava farmers who insured their farms for their losses.
He appealed to the Federal Government to intervene in the matter to encourage more cassava production and yields.