NIGERIA: Ministry plans 40% cassava inclusion in bread making by 2015

President Goodluck Jonathan presenting the 40% Cassava flour-baked bread to the public recently in Abuja.The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has concluded plans to increase to 40 per cent by 2015 the cassava inclusion in bread making from the current 20 per cent. Mrs Toyin Adetunji, the Technical Adviser on cassava to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said this on Friday.

She said “Our target is 40 per cent. But as far as today is concerned, we have 20 per cent inclusion well established and we have trained some master bakers across the country. So far, we have trained about 385 master bakers. We have also trained big bakers like the Park ‘N’ Shop, United Trading Company (UTC) and Butterfield bread.”

According to her, some other master bakers will be coming on board the training in order to achieve this target. She said that the bread could be found on major streets across the country, adding that it was not labelled like that of the master bakers.

She commended the master bakers for their support to the ministry on cassava bread. She said that the ministry had also organised a training programme for the bakers to enable them to have a compact milling system of cassava and wheat flour. Adetunji disclosed that one of the flour millers had decided to go into cassava flour production

“The challenge we had at the beginning was mixing the products and what we are doing now is to remove that by getting this compact milling system.” The compact milling system is a technology that mixes the cassava and wheat flour together to have the composite flour.

This will ensure that there is a good mix of both products and this will help remove the issue of adulteration. According to her, an investor has set up  a company that produces the enzymes required to have a good blend of cassava and wheat flour in Lagos.

“Fortunately a company in Lagos State is making the enzymes and for those who prefer to have their enzymes imported into the country, there is a fiscal policy that is supporting that. The policy will reduce tariff on the importation of the enzymes to zero. So when you import the enzymes it attracts zero tariffs.” She added that there were other major distributors engaged in distributing the enzymes to bakers across the country.

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