The Federal Government is set to reduce wheat importation as it trains master bakers in Kano State on the inclusion of 10 per cent cassava flour in bread baking and other confectioneries.
Recently the National President of Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria (WFAN) Salim Muhammad said the country spends $6.1 billion annually importing wheat.
Speaking at Capacity Building for Master Bakers on the use of High-Quality Cassava Flour (NQCF) for baking bread and other Confectioneries, the Director of Federal Department of Agriculture, Mrs Karima Babangida said the move would create jobs, wealth and save Nigeria forex it spends importing wheat.
“The agricultural policy put in place by the present Government is poised to build agribusiness ecosystem that will address the challenges in the agricultural sector in partnership will all stakeholders to achieve export substitution, job creation, economic diversification as well as food and nutrition security.
“The promotion and adoption of 10per cent Cassava flour in bread and confectionery making so as to reduce wheat importation of the Federal Government has been going on with mixed feelings.
“The policy has huge potentials to generate massive employment, save approximately large percentage in billion Naira daily in Wheat import, provide huge foreign exchange, create massive wealth among average Nigerians and eliminate hunger in the community,” she said.
Mrs Babangida said the Ministry has achieved partial success in cassava flour inclusion by training some bakers, setting up large scale farms, and encouraging more cassava mills, but the 10per cent Cassava inclusion policy implementation failed to achieve objectives of massive Baker’s demand for cassava flour.
She said reasons for the failure of the policy include “the enzyme intervention require the use of sophisticated equipment worth several millions of naira affordable by less than 2per cent of entire bakers of Nigeria;
“The bread hardens by the second day, becoming unacceptable to bakers and consumers; The enzyme lacked the Economic Driver- High Yield Dough-the incentive to guarantee profit to the Bakers, the engine government needs to drive this policy.
“Less than 0.05per cent out of the 450,000 Bakeries in Nigeria makes cassava bread on daily basis, and there is a need to address the health of consumers associated with the probable use of potassium bromide in bread nationwide.”
She said in order for the Nigeria Bakers to adopt the policy, there is a need for more commitment for all stakeholders to achieve the desired result.
“It is in this regard that the Ministry continue to advocate more strategies and efforts such as training more Bakers on the 10per cent Cassava inclusion policy with a view to guarantee acceptability, market, sustainability across the nation and addresses the existing challenges.
“The impact is that consequent demand for cassava flour will have a positive multiplier effect on cassava value Chain/cassava industry and on the entire Nigerian economy.
“It is against this background that the cassava value chain has taken the initiative to organize this training which is not theoretical base training but a practical one that will encourage more adoption and utilization of the HQCF in the bread baking. This will facilitate the use of raw materials from more money to the players in the Cassava Value Chain,” she noted.
The Director stated that the master Bakers will learn the skills and cascade down the training to other members to promote increase efficiency in food processing activities and increase cassava roots supply.
She said the outcome of the continued use of the cassava inclusion policy will lead to increase incomes, livelihood and promote healthy food processing activities.
“The training exercise will be carried out in a reputable bakery environment in conjunction with the selected Master bakers, officials of the bakery house and FMARD.
“In addition, experienced resource personnel from the relevant institute such as Federal institute of industrial research Oshodi (FIIRO) and Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Food Science and Technology Department will be at hand to assist in the course of the training programme.
“While the necessary recipe as developed by the Master Bakers Association of Nigeria such as Wheat flour, Cassava flour Shortening/Butter, Yeast, Liquid Improver, Water, Sugar, Salt and no preservatives will be used,” she added.
Culled from https://tribuneonlineng.com/fg-moves-to-cut-wheat-import-trains-master-bakers-on-10per-cent-cassava-flour-for-bread/