Agro Commodities-Novus Agro Commodity Index (NANCI)
Nigeria being ranked as the largest producer of cassava in the world with a third more than Brazil and almost double the production of Thailand and Indonesia goes to show that the importance of the crop can never be over- emphasized because of the role it plays in food security as well as contributing to economic development through its export.
Cassava is the second most consumed food crop behind rice, cutting across religion, social class and cultural divide. The cassava production is one of the easiest and commonest Agri-business to venture into because of its readily available market and the ability of the crop to adapt to all soil types irrespective of the fertility level of the soil.
Cassava is produced in 24 out of the 36 states in Nigeria. The average yield per hectare is 10.6 tons, this is huge. The major states in Nigeria which produce cassava include Anambra, Delta, Edo, Imo, Oyo and River. Cassava is mainly a subsistence crop grown for food by small-scale farmers who sell the surplus; it grows well in poor soils with limited labor requirement.
Cassava has a well-established processing technique for food products and cattle feeds. There are more than 40 cassava varieties both for domestic and economic use in the country. The commodity which is rich in Starch in the form of carbohydrates has multiple uses and serves multiple purposes.
It is consumed in many processed forms and also serves as livestock feed. Yellow and white garri which is most consumed and considered as the best products are made from cassava. Garri is not just a staple food in Nigeria but also a daily meal.
Garri constitutes a daily meal of over 150 million people worldwide, it is a popular West African food, you can imagine the return on the investment if you invest in garri production, it is increasingly becoming common to produce garri in commercial quantities using mechanized means.
Cassava is very versatile and its derivatives and starch are applicable in many types of products such as foods, confectionery, sweeteners, glues, plywood, textiles, papers, drugs, animal feeds, alcohol production and a host of other product.
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Chiamaka Onyebuchi, Digital marketing strategist, Novus Agro Nig.