This post was originally published at Agric Arena and has been republished with permission.
Cassava (Manihot esculenta) is a popular crop grown in tropical regions. Cassava production in Nigeria is largely by subsistence farming and Nigeria is currently the largest producer of cassava in the world.
It is the most extensively cultivated crop in the Southern part of the country, it contributes largely to the country’s Gross Domestic Production (GDP) and a major source of income to rural farmers. It is used in some industries for production of bio-degradable products, production of feeds for livestock, it could reduce unemployment rate and it is also a rich source of carbohydrates.
Although, majority of farmers wish to cultivate cassava but initial capital and land has been a major challenge to farmers, only few farmers have access to rural credits and lands.
Despite Nigeria been the largest producer of cassava, there is still need to increase the production of cassava for export purpose. Measures that should be considered by Government to ensure sustainable cassava production include:
- Increase cassava production by supporting farmers financially and provision of land to farmers who are willing to farm but do not have access to credit and land.
- Invest in cassava processing, storage and packaging infrastructures.
- Support and increase industrial uses of cassava.
- Invest in transport and agriculture infrastructures (irrigation infrastructures) to support cassava production, processing and marketing in Nigeria.
- Provision of effective extension services.
If this measures are been considered, it will increase cassava production in the country.
Image source: www.wikipedia.com