Farmer advocates for more yellow cassava production
Mrs Chineye Okorie, a Cassava Farmer, on Thursday urged more farmers to embrace yellow cassava production because of its health benefits.
She told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the yellow cassava variety was nutritionally beneficial to both children and pregnant women.
NAN reports that cassava is vital to the economy of Nigeria as the country is world’s largest producer of the commodity.
Research by some agricultural bodies has led to the introduction of three newly-improved Vitamin A cassava varieties with yellow roots, was released by the Nigerian Government in 2014.
This was in a bid to step up efforts to tackle the problem of vitamin A deficiency, especially among women and children in Nigeria.
Okorie said that farmers needed to be aware of the full benefits of the vitamin A cassava varieties for children.
``Vitamin A deficiency results in stunting growth in children, predisposes them to illnesses such as diarrhoea and measles, and even premature death.
``When farmers indulge in yellow cassava farming, this contributes to providing nutritional alternative to fighting against diseases,” she said.
The Ibadan-based cassava farmer said that yellow cassava was good for the pregnant women.
``In pregnant women, vitamin A deficiency results in night blindness and increases the risk of mortality,” Okorie said.
In addition, Okorie said that yellow cassava root was fortified with Vitamin A and reduces cost of production, as there would be no need for the use of palm oil to make the garri yellow.
``Yellow cassava root is more economical to produce because there would not be any need to get extra palm oil to make yellow ‘garri’,” she said.
Okorie, also the owner of Abundance Farms, said that the aim was to encourage more farmers to grow more nutritious cassava and contribute to tackling of prevalent diseases.