Says’ll save billions of Naira on wheat importation, create jobs

As it builds capacity of master bakers

By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja

Hope rises among farmers as Federal Government moves to restore 10 per cent of high quality cassava flour inclusion in bread and confectionery making.

This was disclosed in a keynote address delivered by the Director, Federal Department of Agriculture, FDA, Hajiya Karima Babangida, at the capacity building of master bakers on the ‘Use of High Cassava Flour for baking Bread and other Confectioneries in Kano, on Tuesday.

Babangida said the Buhari-led administration is poised to address challenges facing the agricultural sector, especially in the bread industry as it will partner other stakeholders to achieve export substitution, job creation, economic diversification as well as food nutrition and security.

READ ALSO: Agric ministry commences training of 2000 cassava farmers in nine states

According to her, promotion and adoption of 10 per cent cassava flour in bread and confectioneries making so as to reduce wheat importation of the Federal government have been going on with mixed feelings.

She said: “The policy has huge potential to; generate massive employment; save approximately large percentage in billions of Naira daily  in wheat import; provide huge foreign exchange; create massive wealth among average Nigerians; and eliminate hunger from the community.

“The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has achieved partial success in proving that this dream of cassava flour inclusion is possible by training some bakers, setting up large scale farms, and encouraging more cassava mills, but the 10 per cent cassava inclusion policy implementation failed to achieve desired objectives of massive bakers’ demand for cassava flour.

“It is in this regard that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development continue to advocate for more strategies and efforts such as training of more bakers on the 10 per cent inclusion policy with a view to guarantee acceptability, market sustainability across the nation and addresses the existing challenges.

“The impact is that consequent demand for cassava will have a positive multiplier effect on cassava value chain and cassava industry and on the entire Nigerian economy.”

She added and explained that essence of the training which is practical is to see how High Quality Cassava Flour is used by master bakers in bread baking and other confectioneries as well boost the cassava value chain with increased use of local content with regards to sourcing raw materials for baking bread and others.

She further stated that the training of master bakers is targeted to cascade down to other members to promote efficiency in processing food and increase supply of cassava roots.

According to her the training will be carried out in a reputable bakery environment in conjunction with selected master bakers, officials of the bakery house and the Ministry of Agric, while experienced resource persons will be drawn from Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi, FIIRO, Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, FUAAB, and Food Science and Technology Department will assist in the course of the training programme.

She also made it known that Master Bakers Association of Nigeria will prepare the recipe for training including wheat flour, cassava flour, shortening/butter, yeast, liquid improver, water, sugar, salt and no preservatives will be used.

“It is my hope that many participants will be attesting to show what they have learnt with the knowledge gained as it will serve as a new page to achieve the desired result in the 10 per cent cassava inclusion policy.

“I want to assure you continuous support of the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development toward ensuring policies that will be friendly to the masses and generality of Nigerians”, she said.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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