University don urge FG to invest in cassava farming
ABRAKA – THE Federal Government has been advised to invest in cassava farming as it is the goldmine capable of creating job opportunities and wealth creation for Nigerians if properly harnessed.
This is just as the plan by the federal government to diversify the economy from oil has been described as a welcome development and an opportunity to reposition the agricultural sector in driving the nation’s economy as a pivot for industrial activities.
The charge was given by a professor of Breeding /Environmental Physiology, Delta State University, DELSU, Abraka, Prof. Sunday Akparobi during the university’s 55th series of the inaugural lectures.
In his paper presentation, the university don explained that cassava remains a goldmine for Sub-Saharan desert because it is a drought surviving crop which is easy to grow and adapts to every part of the region with little care before harvest time.
According to him, “The Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the highest production of cassava in the world. It can meet industrial needs such as the production of bio-fuel and starch for use in paper and drug making industries.
“If the importance of cassava was properly harnessed, it would create job opportunities for over 3.5 million Nigerians from the value chain of cassava for Nigeria’s teeming unemployed population.
“Cassava is very low in fats and protein than in cereals as a 100g root of cassava provides 160 calories. Their caloric value mainly comes from sucrose which accounts for 69 percent of total sugars.”