The Federal Government (FG) has tasked investors on ensuring they meet the required standards for cassava value chain in line with local consumption and export demands.
It said this will not only bring about good nutrition and security, but would also help generate revenue for the country.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono,
stated this when project team of the Economically Sustainable and Integrated Cassava Seed System Phase 11 (BASICS II),
paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja.
He assured that the Ministry on its part, would create appropriate policy measures for successful production and distribution of cassava inputs to ensure availability of food and raw materials for industries.
“the ministry will continue to collaborate with the BASICS 11projects through facilitating capacity building of farmers in the area of yield gaps, strengthening research and development in diseases and pest control to improve cassava productivity among others,”he added.
He further noted that the BASICS II would transform the cassava value chain sector by promoting the dissemination of improved varieties thus creating a hub of seed entrepreneurs across the cassava value chain in the Agric sector.
Earlier, the team lead and Director for Development and Delivery, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dr Alfred Dixon, appealed for FG’s support towards the IITA GoSeeds and NRCRI Umudike Seed which he said would be imperative for sustainable production of Early Generation Seeds (EGS) that will feed the demand pool for commercial seed producers.
Dixon also solicited a greater collaboration with the Ministry, IITA and National partners including, National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) and National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI).
“the BASICS-II project intends to address the gap by creating a formal seed system for cassava that links breeder seeds with foundation seed producers and foundation seed producers to commercial seed entrepreneurs who will sell to the cassava root producers.
“Cassava root producers will subsequently process into various end products or sell surplus roots to processing industries in the country. In this fashion, we will be creating jobs and income generation opportunities for young people that will serve as seed entrepreneurs and modern producers of cassava, furthermore, the use of certified seeds will increase the national productivity of cassava,” he said.