Ijebu-Ode (Ogun State) – The Association of Small Scale Agro Producers in Nigeria(ASSAPIN) said on Tuesday that the Federal Government initiative in substituting wheat flour with cassava flour in bread making would reduce cost of importation.
Mr Joshua Mabinuori, the Association’s National Vice President, who stated this in an interview in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun, said the initiative is a policy in the right direction.
“We all know that the wheat we are using to produce bread is being imported into the country. So if we are substituting the imported wheat with the locally produced cassava, it means we are reducing the cost of importation.
“And as result of this, the money being spent on wheat importation will go into the pockets of the local cassava farmers rather than pockets of foreign farmers and this will eventually turn the economy around for good.
“Besides, it will also result to job creation because more people will be attracted to cassava farming due to readily available buyers.
“In all, the idea is a welcome development and we appreciate the government for this initiative and it shows that there is still hope for the small-scale farmers in the country.“
Mabinuori, however, criticised the government for not carrying small-scale farmers along before the bill for cassava in bread was sent to the National Assembly.
The ASSAPIN boss noted that small-scale farmers who are the direct beneficiaries of the bill were ignorant of the contents of the bill.
“If government is talking about farmers need without getting in touch with the smal-scale farmers at the grassroots, then it is not the need of the farmers government is interested in.
“As good as the bill is, government failed to carry the farmers along and this should not be the case because without farmers involvement there is no how the initiative can be realised. But all the same we are in support of the bill.”
Mabinuori, however, appealed to the National Assembly to see to the speedy passage of the bill in the overall interest of the nation.