Africa Cassava Conference will boost production-FG

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By Doris Esa
The Federal Government says the upcoming Africa Cassava Conference  in Abuja, will boost cassava production along its value chain.
The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Abubakar Kyari,who  stated this at a news conference on Tuesday in Abuja, said it will also facilitate increase in local and export demand.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the Africa Cassava Conference is scheduled to hold on Oct. 18 to 20 in Abuja.
NAN  reports that the objective of  conference is to bring together stakeholders in the cassava value chain to brainstorm and strategies on the full exploitation of cassava-based products.
The minister was represented by Mr Abdullahi Abubakar, Director, Federal Department of Agriculture.
The theme of the conference is ” Stimulating Africa’s industrialisation through development of cassava-based products and assuring quality along cassava value chain.”
” The Africa Cassava Conference is welcomed as the importance of ensuring standardisation in derivatives of cassava products cannot be over emphasized.
” It will also  provide good quality cassava derivatives to facilitate increase in local and export demand of the product,” he said.
 “Cassava is recognised as a staple crop and one of the major sources of carbohydrate for human consumption as well as other industrial uses.
” This is why the Ministry will continue to support the development of the commodity in Nigeria,” he said.
He said the ministry through the Cassava Value Chain is continuously working earnestly towards continuous promotion and development of cassava and its derivatives.
Kyari said the outcome of the conference would  bring about increase in the average yields in cassava.
He said it will also promote the stakeholders’ revenues; incorporate quality control inspection and certification system.
Earlier, the Project Manager, Africa Cassava Conference, Ms. Heather – Ronke Akanni, said the objectives of the conference were not far-fetched.
“We need to provide an overview, create awareness, share evidence based contributions from our participating states and countries, outside and within Africa, it is also to inspire innovation.
“The expected outcome of the conference are centered around the need to enhance knowledge, collaboration, increased awareness of cassava products and their innovation applications,” she said.
In a goodwill message, the representative of Nigerian Governors Forum, (NGF), Prof. Abba Gambo, said  that the 36 States of the Federation would be represented at the conference.
He said the 36 State Governors through the Forum are in support of the organisers as cassava value chain is one of the value chains prioritized by the governors.
The conference is being organised by African Union Commission (AUC) and Pan-African Quality Infrastructure (PAQI).
NAN also reports that participants expected at the conference included countries from Europe, Asia, Africa, and others.(NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Joseph Edeh

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