Nigeria produces 45 million metric tonnes of cassava, estimated at about $18bn annually but is not an active player in cassava trade in the international market, the Federal Government has said.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, disclosed this while hosting the organising committee of PAC Africa Expo and Conference led by the Chief Executive Officer, BKG Exhibitions, Ifeanyichukwu Agwu.
Adebayo said cassava and oil palm were strategic commodities in Nigeria’s quest for growth and development of the non-oil sector of the economy and required the right attention from both public and private sector operators.
He was quoted in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday by the Media Consultant to BKG Exhibitions, Chidiebere Ugwu, as saying, “Available statistics point to the fact that Nigeria is a leading producer of cassava.
“Nigeria has a production capacity of 45 million metric tonnes per annum, estimated at about $18bn, accounting for a fifth of the world’s cassava production, followed by Thailand, Indonesia, Brazil, Ghana, Congo and others.
“However, though a world leader in cassava production, Nigeria is not an active player in cassava trade in the international market.”
He said the Federal Government would partner BKG Exhibitions to organise the international event coming up in November, which would focus on oil palm technology and cassava exhibition in order to unlock the potential of the commodities.
The minister noted that Nigeria had controlled well over 45 per cent of the global production of palm between 1950 and 1960, but stated that at present, the country ranked 26th in global production.
“This is a clear indication that the fortunes of both commodities are declining drastically,” Adebayo stated.
On his part, Agwu said the conference would assemble experts in the oil palm, cassava, agricultural technology and allied industries to discuss, educate, review and make inputs towards the development of the commodities in Nigeria.
He said over 300 indigenous companies had been invited for the expo, as the committee was liaising with the immigration service to facilitate smooth entry for international organisations that would be coming from Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil, Ghana, and others.