Cassava: A Staple Crop in Nigeria

Cassava is a staple of choice across cultures and social divides in Nigerian households. The majority of the tuber produced is consumed locally as traditional meals. It is the most important crop by production, and the second most important by consumption (FAO, 2014).

Africa produces over 54% of the world’s cassava, with Nigeria taking the global lead with a production of about 54.8 million MT in 2014 (FAO, 2014). Nevertheless, Nigeria’s average yield of 7.7 MT per hectare, is very low compared to the 23.4 MT and 22.2 MT average yield per hectare produced respectively in Indonesia and Thailand, the other leading cassava producers in the world (FAO, 2014).

Cassava is grown in all agro-ecological zones of Nigeria, but thrives in the rainforest and derived savannah areas. Production is highest in the North Central and South-South regions.

Traditional and Industrial Processing Systems

Nigeria’s cassava processing methods have known little innovation until recently. Most of the cassava harvested in Nigeria is processed into food to obtain gari, fufu, and lafun. There is little processing of cassava into products such as ethanol, chips, syrups, starch and High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF).

December 1, 2016

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