In furtherance of the Presidential mandate to transform the agricultural sector, the Nigerian Agricultural Growth Scheme and AgroPocket (NAGS-AP) with the support of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) convened a Cassava Implementation Strategy Workshop in Calabar, Cross River State on Friday, August 25, 2023.
The workshop, which was held under the theme “Cassava: Maximizing the Full Potentials of Nigeria’s Golden Crop,” brought together stakeholders from across the cassava value chain, including farmer groups, processors, the private sector, research and development institutes, financial institutions, and development partners.
In his keynote address, Prof. Chiedozie Egesi, Executive Director/CEO of NRCRI and Cassava Component Lead of the NAGS-AP Program, highlighted Nigeria’s leading position in cassava production and the need to boost the country’s cassava value chain.
He noted that Nigeria produces an average of 63 million metric tons of cassava annually, but its contribution to the global market is relatively low. He attributed this to the country’s low cassava productivity, which is due to the use of low-yielding varieties and the non-adoption of good agronomic practices.
Egesi called for a focus on value addition as the key to unlocking cassava’s full potential. He said that by increasing the production of value-added cassava products, such as starch, flour, and ethanol, Nigeria can boost its cassava exports and create jobs in the agricultural sector.
The workshop concluded with a plan of action for the cassava value chain in Nigeria while highlighting the next big projects.