Group Criticizes FG’s Cassava Policy
12th March 2007
The Association of Nigerian Cassava Starch Manufacturers (ANCASM) has criticized the Federal Government policy on cassava, saying the policy is being sabotaged through government’s activities, reflected in what they described as conflicting policies.
“The policy of the government on cassava, laudable as it is, is being undermined by other counter measures by the same government and how some unscrupulous few exploit these conflicting policies of government to sabotage the Nigerian economy”, chairman of the association, Mr. Dele Ogunlade said in Lagos.
While expressing displeasure over the development, Ogunlade said ANCASM was set to prove how the measures have turned the cassava policy into a nightmare and consequently, a threat to the economic lives of key players in the up-stream aspect of the cassava starch supply chain, who according to him, are farmers and processors. He observed that the presidential initiative on cassava has led to situation that would not benefit neither the farmers nor processors, rather, they are being confronted with problems.
He noted: There are serious problems in the sector, and they are threatening the success of the cassava revolution. This sector which has never found it easy doing business in the country is now under considerable stifling pressure.
The sector may buckle in soon, unless the government shows some understanding of the responsibilities it owes to us. On the ten per cent cassava in bread flour, he expressed fears over the success of the project on account of lack of necessary cassava flour processing plants.
He argues that although cassava is already being produced massively, the starch industry that would have mopped up the cassava is in a state of coma because of the influx of smuggled cornstarch.
Against this background, he said cassava farmers and starch processors were in distress. The association therefore, urged government to ban the importation of cornstarch and similar powder starch.
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