By Cecilia Ijuo
Prof. Felix Salako, the Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, has commended the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), for its support to improved cassava production in Nigeria and Africa at large.
Salako gave the commendation on the sidelines of a two day Nigeria’s first Cassava Investment Forum in Abuja on Friday.
The forum is the Cassava Compact of Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT)” a programme initiated by the African Development Bank (AfDB) as part of its Feed Africa Initiative.
The programme is in collaboration with the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB) and International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).
“With AfDB, IITA and FUNAAB being involved in the programme, it is going to be live abundance for cassava farmers and everyone involved in the value chain process.
“There is something good about focusing on a commodity crop and working on it for years. There is a lot of experience in terms of cassava research.
“Many of our researchers have been involved over the years in cassava processing and for more than a decade now our researchers have been involved in what is called cassava added value for Africa.
“For us as an institution, we have been involved in processing and aside that we now have a big cassava factory where high quality cassava flour is produced apart from other by-products.
“For other by-products like cassava root use for ethanol, we pass to those involved in it because everything is about value chain,” he said.
AfDB’s Feed Africa strategy is aimed at harnessing elite scientific research, technologies among others.
“It is also meant to improve the business of agriculture across Africa by raising agricultural productivity, mitigating risks and promoting diversification and processing in 18 agricultural value chains within eight Priority Intervention Areas (PIA).
Meanwhile, the two day forum is aimed at reviewing the role of government institutions in facilitating the growth and financial sustainability of cassava investments in Nigeria.
Other objectives of the forum are analysing key elements of a successful cassava investment; what it takes to make investments easy and successful for the intending entrepreneurs and the youth.
It is also meant to identify other facilitating roles for TAAT Cassava Compact in support of cassava investments in Nigeria in terms of technical and business support.(NAN)