Enhanced Cassava Production for Food Security and Economic Development in Nigeria: A review
In addition to contributing to food security, cassava is gaining popularity as a feedstuff and feedstock across the world. Efforts are being made to substitute cassava for grains in the animal feed, ethanol production, etc. It is being increasingly recognized that growing high yielding cassava can spur sustainable development. The objectives of this study were to identify gaps in the cassava sub-sector and proffer solutions for optimal production and utilization of cassava and its products for food security and economic development. The data and information for this study were collected from sources like Google Scholar, Science Direct, Research Gate and FAOSTAT. The challenge of how to produce beyond domestic demand and sustain supply to the international markets is one of the constraints we face in Nigeria cassava subsector. Despite being the world’s largest cassava producer, more than 90 % of cassava produced in the country is consumed locally as food. Since little is processed for many and varied uses, the outlook for increasing cassava production is promising as it can encourage rural and economic development through increase in production, processing, marketing and export of starch, pellets and chips to earn foreign exchange. The study suggests that, like Thailand, Nigeria should focus on increasing productivity alongside creating market opportunities. This could be achieved by raising institutional structures and functioning infrastructures, enacting favourable agricultural policies such as the export-led industrialization policy, trade and investment liberation and common agricultural policy. Such policies will support large agribusinesses interventions, including cassava processors and commodity exporters, and help create a conducive environment that will sustain cassava production for food security and economic development.
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