Bakers say low shelf life, poor cassava flour, may hinder production of cassava bread

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Lagos – Bankers in Lagos said Thursday that the 20 per cent inclusion of cassava in bread was becoming difficult, due to a lot of constraints.

Mr Jacob Adejorin, Chairman, Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria, Lagos Chapter, made this known in an the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

Adejorin listed , short shelf life, substandard cassava flour, lack of and equipment for , among others, as the constraints.

He said the initiative by the was good but it had been difficult to quality cassava flour.

“For now, the only place you can 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 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.

NAN recalls that in 2014, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, Minister of Agriculture, said that Nigeria could save up to N200 billion the inclusion of cassava flour in bread .

To ensure the initiative sails through, the earmarked 2.2 billion for the initiative, to be accessed through the Bank of Industry.

Mrs Gloria Elemo, Director-, Federal Institute of Industrial , Oshodi (FIIRO), said the institute had trained several bakers and millers cassava bread.
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She also said the institute makes cassava bread and sells its milling and baking department, but about the bread had been low.

But all bakers who spoke 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 .

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.

“After baking, the bread looks like fufu — the local cassava meal — because the quality of the flour we is .

“We make all sorts of bread with sardine, coconut bread, and so , so we cannot continue the use of such flour for such .

“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 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 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)