“For now, the only place you can get cassava is around Oyo State, and even there, not many people are aware of cassava bread, neither are the bakers trained in it.
“Until there is that high quality cassava flour, the ones we have around have very low shelf life.
“This means that the bread made with it does not last long, before it starts to go sour.
“I am aware that quality cassava flour is available in FIIRO, but how much of this is available?
“There is need to produce more of the flour,” he said.
To ensure the initiative sails through, the Federal Government earmarked 2.2 billion for the initiative, to be accessed through the Bank of Industry.
Mrs Gloria Elemo, Director-General, Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), said the institute had trained several bakers and millers on cassava bread.
But all bakers who spoke with NAN said they had yet to access the fund.
Mr Femi Awobona, a member of the Cassava Millers Association, said that cassava millers needed sophisticated equipment for the processing of cassava flour, to meet the standard.
He said most of the equipment could only be found in FIIRO, and it was insufficient to meet the needs of the populace.
Awobona urged the new government to look into the value chain of growing and processing cassava, to ensure good quality.
Mr Bode Oyegun, a bakery owner in Agege, said he had stopped making cassava bread because the quality of the flour was poor.
According to Oyegun, I started by including 10 per cent of cassava but I have stopped because the shelf life of the bread is too short for commercial purposes.
“If we can get quality flour, I think the policy can come back to life.
“Many people are not even aware of it; if not, packaging of cassava flour would be a very lucrative business,” he said.
“When the government raised the awareness for cassava bread, we embraced it, but at a point, most of us stopped the production,” he said.
Another baker, Mrs Gladys John, urged the Federal Government to empower cassava growers and millers to produce quality cassava flour.
She said that she sometimes buys the cassava bread made by FIIRO, and her family loves it, but she doubts if most people knew about the development. (NAN)