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Mechanization of Production and Processing of Cassava for Value Addition in Nigeria

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  131595976,  2013 Kansas City, Missouri, July 21 - July 24, 2013. (doi: @2013
Authors:   Kayode C Oni, Opeyemi A Oyelade
Keywords:   cassava gari production mechanization food security.

Abstract. Cassava (Manihot esculenta) is the second most important food staple in Africa, after maize, in terms of calories consumed. Nigeria is among the three largest cassava producing countries in Africa. In 2002, Nigeria recorded an unsatisfactory growth rate of 1.2 per cent. However, Nigeria's economic performance rebounded, averaging growth at 7.3 per cent between 2002 and 2007. The pressing challenge for the nation lies in maintaining and improving current economic growth indicators and translating these recent gains into improved standard of living for the majority of its citizens. Poverty within Nigeria remains staggeringly high, averaging 50 per cent and 70 per cent of its general and rural population, respectively, living on less than US$1.25 a day. Agriculture still remains the dominant employer of labour of over 70 per cent and accounting for about 31 per cent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product(GDP). Cassava is the chief source of dietary food energy for majority of the people living in the lowland tropics, and much of the sub-humid tropics of West and Central Africa. To maintain cassava’s competitiveness in world markets, further research is required to increase yields, reduce production costs, broaden the range of starch functional properties and increase the starch content and nutritional value of its root. In addition, processing efficiency needs to be improved, new processes and products developed, and new markets for cassava-based products identified. This can only be achieved by the integration of production, processing and marketing, through active collaboration of the various institutions involved, and through an effective partnership between the public and private sectors. Therefore, its production and utilization must be given prime attention in food policy. This paper aims at presenting an overview of mechanization of cassava in Nigeria and measures to take in promoting its production and processing for value addition and revenue generation.

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