A blog maintained by Tevita Kete, PGR Officer
Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji Islands
This weblog documents the activities of Pacific Agricultural Genetic Resources Network (PAPGREN), along with other information on plant genetic resources (PGR) in the Pacific.
The myriad varieties found within cultivated plants are fundamental to the present and future productivity of agriculture. PAPGREN, which is coordinated by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), helps Pacific countries and territories to conserve their crop genetic diversity sustainably, with technical assistance from the Bioversity International (BI) and support from NZAID and ACIAR.
SPC also hosts the Centre of Pacific Crops and Trees (CEPaCT). The CEPaCT maintains regional in vitro collections of crops important to the Pacific and carries out research on tissue culture technology. The CEPaCT Adviser is Dr Mary Taylor (MaryT@spc.int), the CEPaCT Curator is Ms Valerie Tuia (ValerieT@spc.int).
PAPGREN coordination and support
Mr William Wigmore
Mr Adelino S. Lorens
Dr Lois Englberger
Mr Apisai Ucuboi
Dr Maurice Wong
Mr Tianeti Beenna Ioane
Mr Frederick Muller
Mr Herman Francisco
Ms Rosa Kambuou
Ms Laisene Samuelu
Mr Jimi Saelea
Mr Tony Jansen
Mr Finao Pole
Mr Frazer Bule Lehi
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Tuesday, February 01, 2005
Posted 7:35 PM by Luigi
More on cassava in Nigeria
Taking advantage of investment potentials of cassava
Nigeria is the world's largest producer of cassava, but not a significant player in the cassava export market. Thailand, a country that lags behind Nigeria in field production of cassava is the largest exporter of cassava products mainly in the form of chips and pellets for animal feed.
Nigeria has so far been unable to develop competitive cassava - based industry because of high cost of tubers. However, with the agricultural programmes being pursued by the federal and state governments with support from development partners, yield per hectare will increase by as much as 300%, which will reduce cost of tubers by as much as one third, thereby making raw cassava tubers as competitive as in other cassava exporting countries.
Cassava tubers, easy to grow, tolerant of neglect, thriving in some of the least friendly soil and climatic environments, take a minimum of twelve (12) months to germinate after planting. However, some newer varieties, though still on trial, geminates between 9 - 10 months. Average yield in the country is around 15 ton/ha; however current research efforts may increase this to about 40/50 ton/ha.
Cassava has two seasons in Nigeria: wet season, which runs from March/April to October/November every year; and the dry season cassava, which runs from November/December to February/March of the following year. Cassava tubers are grown in commercial quantities in the rain forest zones of Anambra, Edo, Imo, Delta, Cross Rivers, Ebonyi, Enugu, Bayelsa, Akwa - Ibom, Osun, Oyo, Kogi etc. At the time of this report, price of a ton of tuber goes for between N5, 000 - N5, 500. Prices are usually favorable to the processor during the wet season but appreciate during dry season due to difficulty in harvesting.
Processors adopt a variety of methods to procure tubers to feed their plants. The following approaches are generally employed:
In summary the objectives of cassava processing are to:
Decision to embark on this project is informed by the following principal reasons.
Firstly, there is abundant supply of cassava in the country: Nigeria presently is the largest producer in the world, producing 33 million tons annually.
Secondly, besides availability of cassava, there is a strong real and potential demand for products of cassava. For instance, the decision by flour millers following a Federal Government directive, to add 10% cassava flour to wheat flour in the preparation of baking flour has created new demand for cassava flour and strong rationale to embank on this project.
Thirdly, government is set to support the cassava industry through provision of incentives and support measures that will enable government achieve its objectives and goals of job creation and poverty reduction. These incentives and supports will ultimately improve operating environment of the industry and contribute immensely to boost profitability of investment projects. Naturally, investment capital gravitates to areas with conducive operating environments, safety of investments and possibility of generating comparatively better returns on investment.
Fourthly, the cassava industry is currently receiving much attention and support from Nigeria's development partners such as IFAD, UNDP, USAID, and IITA etc, thus making the industry attractive to private investors. These development partners are providing support through partnership with governments at the state and federal, and with multinationals, to build local capacity.
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