The Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council ( NEPC), Dr. Olusegun Awolowo, has disclosed that Nigeria is ranked as the highest producer of cassava, producing about 20 percent of the total world production.
Dr. Awolowo, who is also the CEO of NEPC, made the statement at a one day workshop on the implementation of the One-State One-Product (OSOP) Value Chain in strategic products of the zero oil plan cassava in Benin City.
Awolowo was represented at the event by the Trade Promotion Advisor, NEPC, Export Assistance Office, Benin, MacPherson Lleogben. He said that Edo State has shown Cassava and Wood as its main and alternate products.
“The focus of today’s workshop is on cassava development, with over 59 million metric tons production. Nigeria is ranked as the largest producer of cassava producing about 20 percent of the total world production. The total estimated world production is put at over 291 million metric tons in 2017.
“Despite being the world’s largest producer of cassava, the industry is facing some challenges in Nigeria, such as climate change, low yields, quality issues, low processing, sharp practices, infrastructural deficiency and poor access to finance which has constrained export. It is vital to engage the value chain players from time to time to address these plights, so that we can grow the export of the product in Nigeria.
“In 2015, NEPC developed a game changer documents tagged the Zero-Oil Plan. The initiative was developed as a strategy for boosting foreign exchange earnings through the non-oil sector. Preparing Nigeria for an economy that would not depend on a single drop of crude oil for survival.
“The Zero Oil Plan has set a long-term goal of earning 20 percent of Nigeria’s GDP (i.e US$100 billion) from non-oil exports. The initial target is to exceed US$30 billion in non-oil exports over the next 10 years. If properly implemented the plan will lead to three primary results.
“Add an extra US$150 million (minimum) to Nigeria’s foreign reserves cumulatively from non-oil exports over the next 10 years. Create at least 500,000 additional jobs annually.
“Due to an increase in productive and export activities, helping to contribute to Sustaniable Development Goal (SDG) 8-. Decent Work and Economic Growth. Lift at least 20 million Nigerians out of poverty, contributing towards SDG 1-‘No Poverty’,” he added.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary Edo State Ministry of Wealth Creation, Cooperative and Employment, Joel Edionwe urged the farmers at the occasion to look for the modern ways of processing their Cassava products.
Edionwe added that Edo State produce the largest cassava in Nigeria and appealed to the farmers to develop a new format to produce in large quantities and therefore declared the event opened.
Delivering his speech, the Edo State Chairman of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Chief Emmanuel Odigie, said how would want the farmers to benefit from the workshop so that they can produce large quantities of cassava.
He urged the participants to listen to the various speakers so that they can learn the modern ways of cultivating good cassava products.
In his address of welcome, the Trade Promotion Advisor, NEPC, Benin Export Assistance Office, MacPherson Fred Lleogben, said, the event is aimed at building the capacity of farmers and processor across the cassava value chain.
Lleogben said it will further strengthen the non-oil exports performance of Edo State.
“With cassava being the primary product identified in Edo State under the One State One Product idea of the council.”