Delta State Government has flagged off the 2021 Cassava Development Programme for farmers in the state.
Speaking at the flag off ceremony, the state Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hon. Chief Julius Egbedi stated that the program which was being duplicated at the same time in Warri, was geared towards boosting food production in the state.
According to Egbedi, the state which stands out as one of the major producers of Cassava product had produced over 1.4 Million metric tonnes of Cassava annually with an average yield of 15 metric tons per hectare, adding that the total land area cultivated annually was about 93,000 hectares.
While speaking on the economic relevance of the crop, he said it lies in its utility as a carbohydrate food which was consumed as fufu, garri, tapioca, starch as well as its ability to be processed for industrial uses.
He said that in adding value to the cassava, there was need to process a sizeable amount of the tubers produced, into cassava starch, chips, pellets and glucose syrup.
The Commissioner urged the participants to take the training seriously as the programme would be monitored to ensure that they have something to show when harvest time comes.
In his words the Director Veterinary Services, Dr Charles Diai expressed delight over the gesture farmers in the state had received from the state governor through the Ministry.
Diai said the farmers had enjoyed the priviledge of a Governor and Commissioner who ensured food was on the table of Deltans, thereby making food security a reality even as he commended the farmers for their input towards food production in the state.
Delivering a vote of thanks, one of the participants, Mr George Ajabor commended the efforts of the state governor, saying that the joy and progress they enjoyed as farmers was tied to the support of the governor and his working Commissioner in the Ministry, even as he promised that the farmers would put their experience together in ensuring the programme becomes a success.