Association Seeks to Ramp up Nigeria’s Cassava Derivatives’ Production to 600,000 Metric Tons

The Large-scale Starch and Derivatives Producers Association (LSSDPA) yesterday announced plan to double Nigeria’s domestic production of cassava derivatives to least 600,000 metric tons in the next five years, from the 300,000 metric tons it is presently.

The President, LSSDPA, Mrs. Oluyemisi Iranloye, who said this during the inauguration ceremony of the newly established association held in Lagos, said ramping up production would help tighten the gap between supply-demand of cassava-based products, produce a revenue of at least N360 billion ($812 million) per annum, up from the present amount of about N180 billion ($406 million) in revenue annually……..Continue Reading

The event also saw the inauguration of members of the association’s Board of Trustees which included Rasheed Olakanmi Sarumi as Chairman; Zainab Mustapha Jaji, Adewale Abiodun Raji and Iranloye as members.

Speaking further, Iranloye said increasing production would also help the country preserve huge amount of foreign exchange, reduce Nigeria’s reliance on the import of cassava by-products and create new job opportunities.

Iranloye, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Psaltry International Company Limited explained: “To generate a production output of 600,000 metric tons, we would need about three million metric tons of fresh cassava root planted annually on approximately 170,000 hectares of land.

“That translates into an opportunity estimated to impact at least 10 million Nigerians in different host communities where the cassava derivatives producing factories are situated. Of course, the livelihoods of farm families will improve, boost rural development and reduce urban migration.

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“Besides, the three million metric tons is just one-fourteenth of the estimated fresh root of cassava to be planted annually to meet the demand for cassava-based products, according to PwC. Therefore, this is a clarion call for decision-makers and the cassava value chain actors to synergise on enhancing the cassava value chain for the greater good of everyone.

“Manufacturing companies will have quick and easy access to premium quality cassava derivatives needed for their manufacturing process. In addition, hundreds of thousands of unemployed youths will be gainfully employed, stimulate rural development, alleviate poverty, enhance food security, provide clean energy and promote Nigeria’s industrialisation.”

She described the inauguration of the association as a new dawn that would transform the cassava value chain, foster economic growth and help Nigeria meet its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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“Most people regard cassava as the “new oil” but I tell you, “cassava excel oil.” The crop is in a league of its own. Cassava can be the bedrock of the Nigerian economy if we can come together to harness its full economic potential.

“Presently in Nigeria, there is domestic production of six cassava derivatives, which include starch, flour, ethanol, methanol, glucose and sorbitol. We can expand the value to encompass indigenous production of vitamin C, biodegradable plastics, formaldehyde, hydrochloric acid, sodium silicate and caustic soda.

“Also, we have gained success in streamlining the conversion of cassava wastes into animal feed, which studies show can replace corn in most animals’ diets. We can channel that same energy into biomass energy production, that is, conversion of agricultural wastes to energy, a massive potential area in which Nigeria needs to participate in its research and development.”

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According to her, the cassava processing industry generates significant waste that could be converted to electricity and steam, thus creating clean energy for industries and thousands of homes.

Iranloye also revealed that with the biomass electrification, the sector could establish a carbon credit system to offset carbon emissions and sell carbon credits.

“Clearly, cassava is no longer a crop for self-consumption; it is a crop that can shoulder the Nigerian economy, imagine the growth of the economy if we can focus on the cassava value chain as regards improving access to finance, supporting cassava cultivation, increasing funding for agricultural development and research, and promoting domestic production of cassava-based products.

“Hence, the reason for founding the LSSDPA. The association aims to create a strong synergy between the cassava value chain actors and stakeholders towards growing the cassava value chain, reducing the gap between the supply-demand of cassava derivatives and the Nigerian GDP exponentially.

“On a final note, I consider Nigeria to be the greatest country in the world because it is the only country globally that possesses all the natural resources needed to survive. Even Nigerians in the diaspora agree that no country nears the greatness of Nigeria regarding our natural resources. It is just for us to have a bond of understanding to foster the country’s growth just as the LSSDPA inaugurated today to enhance the Nigerian value chain and build the Nigerian economy.”

In his welcome address, the Secretary of the association and Project Manager, Premier Plantations Limited, Boniface Iyen, said the birth of the association was the result of the journey that started almost two years ago.

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He disclosed that all members of the association have businesses that process minimum of 50 tons of cassava daily.

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