The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said Nigeria’s cassava imports are valued at about S600 million annually, Concise News reports.
This was revealed by the CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele on Tuesday during a meeting with governors of cassava-producing states in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.
During the event, the CBN also sealed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nigeria Cassava Growers Association and Large Scale Cassava Processors.
According to Emefiele, Nigeria is blessed with many varieties of cassava that could be explored to maximum potential.
Emefiele, however, admitted that the country needs to go for improved varieties of the crop and adopt best practices to get better yields, more profits and higher living standards.
The CBN boss noted that the apex bank is consulting the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan, and the National Root Crops Research Institute, Umudike to ensure that the goals are achieved.
“Statistics show that out of the 53.0 million metric tonnes of cassava produced in Nigeria annually, more than 90 per cent is processed into food for human consumption,” Emefiele said.
“Whereas a significant industrial demand exists for the output of processed cassava, primarily as substitutes for imported raw materials and semi-finished products.
He noted that the “Potential demand that exists in our cassava value chain, demand High-Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) in bread, biscuits and snacks is above 500,000 tonnes annually while supply is below 15,000 tonnes.
“Demand for cassava starch is above 300,000 tonnes annually while supply is below 10,000 tonnes.”