Nigeria working on plans to reduce wheat imports by 20%, says agriculture minister; plan will save more than US$796M annually

ABUJA, Nigeria , October 22, 2013 () – The Nigerian government is working on plans to reduce wheat import by 20 percent, Minister of Agriculture Akinwumi Adesina said on Tuesday.

The minister said the plan, using cassava flour as substitute in bread production, will save more than 796 million U.S. dollars a year, with other benefits such as developing local cassava industry, and improving employment.

With an annual production capacity of 40 million tonnes, Nigeria is the world's largest cassava producer, while Thailand is the largest exporting country of dried casava.

"We understand that Thailand, which is the third largest producer of cassava, controls over 80 percent of the world's market. Hence, there is need for us to play our role as a leading producer nation," Adesina said.

The government had approved a 63-million-dollar fund and training programs for professional cassava bread bakers to nurse cassava industry in the country, the minister said.

(c) 2013 Xinhua News Agency

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