BY GABRIEL EWEPU
THE Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has said the Federal Government will soon release N10 billion for cassava bread development fund and to further boost the cassava production.
Adesina who was represented by the Senior Technical Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Adetunji Oredipe, disclosed this in Kogi State at the Cassava GES Roll Out at Agbadu Staple Crop Processing Zone, SCPZ, in Kabba Bunu Local Government Area of the state.
He explained that Government established the Cassava Bread Development Fund, which would be funded through the tariff on wheat flour. He further said that the Cassava Bread Development Fund would also be used to support research and development efforts on cassava bread, training of master bakers, and support for master bakers for the acquisition of new equipment for production.
Speaking on the Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES), the minister said that the GES will allow the farmers to produce additional food because the farmers will receive their improved cuttings and fertilisers.
“This year, we are taking cassava GES programme to scale, we have designed different levels of support to different categories of farmers and we are committed to making this work.
This marks another major milestone in our drive to ensure that the modern cassava farmers adopt the best available agricultural practices starting with the use of improved inputs; cuttings and fertilisers. In doing this, we will ensure that our farmers, the real cassava farmers who should be the real beneficiaries of government policy are well targeted by government programme”, he said.
According to Adesina, to assure sustainable supply of high quality cassava flour, a secure low interest and long term financing from the China Exim Bank for the importation of 18 large scale high quality cassava flour processing plant was made to be owned and operated by the private sector.
In his address, Commissioner for Agriculture, Kogi Sate, Dr. Olufemi Bolarin, noted that the Governor of Kogi State, Idris Wada, has keyed into the ATA in Agriculture by encouraging and assisting Kogi State peasant farmers in all facets of agricultural production.