The Federal Government could earn as much as N127 billion annually if the bill on cassava bread is signed into law by the National Assembly. Director General of Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), Dr. (Mrs.) Gloria Elemo, who disclosed this during a stakeholders’ meeting on Cassava Policy and Cassava/Sorghum Bread Bill, held recently in Lagos, said that government will not only save this huge amount of money in foreign exchange but will also create 5000 SMEs to produce 1.2 million tones of high quality cassava flour demand estimate by the flour milling industry at 20 percent inclusion level.
Elemo said that the result from surveys shows that cassava has a very high potential to create wealth and employment.
“It has been estimated that cassava has the potential to generate 3 million jobs along the value-chain. In this light, most of unemployed youths that are involved in criminal activities and other social vices threatening national security including terrorism, kidnapping, armed robbery will be gainfully employed as an idle hand is the devil’s workshop,” she said.
She stated that her agency has been actively involved in the training of Master Bakers in cassava bread production in the last twenty years, adding that recently the institute signed MoU with FMARD on training of over one thousand Master Bakers in the South-West geopolitical zone and Kwara state. This training has commenced with first set of 140 bakers in batches of 35.
The FIIRO boss, stated that research results have shown that high quality cassava flour can be incorporated into wheat flour for bread making at different levels of substitution.
However, she said that 10-20 percent was considered most acceptable for bread making being the level at which no noticeable difference can be detected between bread made from 100 percent wheat flour, while 15-40 percent is acceptable for confectioneries and other baked products even though confectioneries can be made with 100 percent cassava flour.
“It is no longer news that the institute pioneered R&D work on composite flours production from cereals, legumes and tubers way back in the 60s’ with the sole objective of reducing to an extent the importation of wheat into the country.
“The major crops worked on for composition flour production by the institute include; cassava, sorghum, millet, maize, rice, soybean etc. with each of these crops, different levels or percentages of substitution or inclusion were utilized and the results were very encouraging,” she observed.
She stated that the institute has been in the forefront in cassava processing R &D and has developed many products of commercial importance from cassava. Chief amongst these products is High Quality Cassava Flour which the institute has utilized for partial substitution of wheat flour at various levels of inclusion.
Source : SunOnline