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Delta produces 2.2 million metric tones of cassava annually- Commissioner

Delta produces 2.2 million metric tones of cassava annually- Commissioner

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Chief Austin Chikezie, Delta Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, has said that the state produces an average of 2.2 million metric tonnes of cassava annually.

Chikezie stated this in a document made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Asaba.

He said that the state cultivated 140,000 hectares of cassava annually and recorded an average yield of 15.7 metric tones per hectare.

The commissioner said that the total registered number of cassava farmers in the state as at December 2014 stood at 57,514.

He said that there had been steady increase in cassava cultivation in Delta since 2012 due to the state government’s intervention in the sector.

Chikezie said that part of the government intervention was the establishment of the improved cassava multiplication sites at Abraka and Uwheru, in Ethiope East and Ughelli North Local Government Areas respectively.

Since 1999, the state government has procured over five million bundles of improved varieties of cassava cuttings and distributed to farmers.

To add value to cassava products, three modern cassava processing mills, each with a capacity to produce two tones of cassava per day, are under construction in three different locations now.

The places are Ubulu-Okiti, Aniocha North LGA; Oghara, Ethiope West Local Government Area and Ogbe-Ijoh, Warri South-West Local Government Area,” he said.

The commissioner said that the state government would partner the private sector to ensure speedy completion of the projects, to produce industrial starch, pellets, flour and chips.

Chikezie urged investors to exploit the benefits of the 25 women farmers’ groups and over 100 identifiable farmers’ cooperative societies spread across the state.

The commissioner said that cassava could be grown in all the 25 local government areas in the state.

He said that the state government had made provision in its 2016 budget to further increase cassava production in the state.

“In 2016 budget, a provision has been made for the multiplication of the new improved pro-vitamin A and Beta Carotene cassava cuttings to be distributed to farmers in the state.”
(NAN)

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