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feasibility study of cassava production in nigeria

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CHAPTER ONECASSAVA PRODUCTION IN NIGERIA1.1. INTRODUCTION
Cassava is a very important crop to Nigeria. Its comparative production advantage over
other staples serves to encourage its cultivation even by the resource
poor farmers. The crop‟s
production is generally thought to require less labor per unit of output than other major staples. Cassava is able to grow and give reasonable yields in low fertile soils. It is a goodstaple
whose cultivation if encouraged can provide the nationally required food security min-imum of
2400 calories per person per day.Recently, production figures ranked Nigeria as the
leading producer of cassava in theworld. In 2004, the
estimated cassava output from Nigeria was approximately 34 milliontonnes. This production performance has
rated Nigeria as the largest cultivator of cassava in the
world. This feat is sequel to the on-going cassava
multiplication programme in the coun-try. In 2002, cassava suddenly gained prominence in Nigeria
following the pronouncement of a presidential initiative on the crop.The initiative was aimed at using
cassava production as
the engine of growth in Nigeria.In recent times,
government has encouraged the use of the crop to
produce a wide range of industrial products such as ethanol, glue, glucose syrup and bread.
Recently, the Nigeriangovernment promulgated a law, making it compulsory for bakers to use composite flour
of 10 per cent cassava and 90 per cent wheat for bread production. The new regulation
whichcame into effect, January 2005, stipulated that the large flour mills that
supply flour to bak-eries and confectioneries must pre-mix cassava flour with flour.However, cassava farms just
like the other crop farms
in Nigeria are the small-scale typeswhich are
characterized by very low productivity. The crucial issue in the Nigerian agricultureis that of low productivity.
The problem of declining crop productivity in Nigeria is important.Despite all human and
material resources devoted to agriculture, the productive efficiency for most crops still fall under 60
percent [5-7]. Farmers output must therefore be expanded with ex-isting levels of conventional inputs and
technology. More than ever, farmers will have
to pro-duce more efficiently: That is produce maximal
output from a given mix of inputs or usethe minimum
levels of inputs for a given level of output.
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