Bakers urge FG to subsidize cassava flour costs as flour prices soar

Nigerian bakers under the umbrella of the Association of Master Bakers They have urged the Federal Government to subsidize the cost of cassava flour in Nigeria and boost adoption as flour prices remain high.

The appeal was done by the association’s president, Dr. Chidi Orlu, during a training development for master bakers on the use of high-quality cassava flour for baking bread organized by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD).

The association warned that if bakers start using cassava flour, demand for cassava will skyrocket, driving up prices and making it harder for farmers to meet demand.

Comparing costs: Dr. Orlu noted that the current cost of cassava flour in the country had discouraged the production of flour-based bread and posed a serious challenge to government efforts to stop the importation of wheat for making bread.

He added that it is cheaper to produce bread and other sweets with wheat flour than to make them with cassava flour, citing that a baker needs 2.5 kg of butter to produce a good bread with 50 kg of cassava flour, while they can be used around 500g of butter to produce bread with 50kg of wheat flour. He said:

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  • “Inflation is now so high. Where do we source high-quality cassava flour and, if available, at what price? If bakers decide to use cassava flour, the demand for cassava will be massive and that will make it difficult for some farmers to meet the bakers’ demand.
  • “Throughout the world, when you start a project of this nature, the wish may not be achieved at first; it’s something you get in the long run.”

GF replies: The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, said that the government’s agricultural policy was set to build an agribusiness ecosystem that would address the challenges of the agricultural sector.

He noted that the implementation of the cassava inclusion policy has not achieved the desired objectives of demand for cassava flour by master bakers due to some challenges that stakeholders are currently trying to address.

For the record: Nigerian Food Inflation arose to 23.72% in October from 23.34% in the previous month, while the core inflation rate rose to 17.76% from 17.6%.

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