FG reiterates plan to reduce wheat importation, cut foreign expenditure

The Federal Government has reiterated plans to reduce importation of wheat to its barest minimum and cut foreign exchange expenditure drastically.

 This is contained in a statement issued on Thursday in Abuja by Mr. Greyne Anosike, the Director, Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. It said that the Minister, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, stated this while launching the second phase of the 20 per cent cassava bread at the Spar Park ‘N’ Shop in Lekki, Lagos. He said that this would help the country provide employment for its unemployed youths and also help give hope to Nigerian farmers. According to the statement, the country will only create jobs and drive Nigerians out of reasonable earnings, if it continues to depend on imported wheat. “As a government, we decided that if we are the largest producer of cassava in the world, we must necessarily be the largest processor of cassava as well.’’ He noted that the Federal Government’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) was predicated on attaining self-sufficiency in food production.

He stressed that the country would continue to encourage consumption of cassava blended bread. He commended the efforts of Park `N’ Shop and other master bakers who adhered strictly to the Federal Government’s policy of 20 per cent cassava inclusion in bread making. Adesina pledged to physically launch the bread in all their outlets nationwide and assured them of government’s support. He told the master bakers that the much expected Cassava Trust Fund (CTF) was now ready for them to access. The fund is derived from the levy imposed on wheat importation. It will also be used to service research establishments and master bakers training. It will also be used to upgrade 153 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMES) producing cassava flour and local production of enzymes for cassava bread. The statement also quoted Mr. Kayode Onafowokan, the Chairman of Spar Park ‘N’ Shop, as saying that 20 per cent inclusion in cassava flour in bread had expanded their product lines. He added that it had also enhanced the overall employment window and boosted the company’s profit due to the reduced cost on wheat importation. Source: http://royaltimes.net
March 15th, 2013 

 

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