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Published On: Mon, Nov 24th, 2014

ATA: Nigerian economy enhanced with N780bn, says Adesina

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By Mohammed Kandi

The implementation of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) of the Federal Government in the last three years has injected into the country’s economy at least N780 billion, Minister of Agriculture and

Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has said.

Dr. Adesina disclosed at the public presentation of the Draft Cassava/Sorghum Bread Policy and commissioning of master bakers equipment in Abuja.

The minister who also asserted that the Nigerian farmers have seen the benefits of ATA in several ways as they now producing more foods, informed that “Our national food production expanded by an additional  21 million MT within three years – a record in our nation’s history.”

According to him, “The agricultural transformation agenda has added N 780 billion to the economy within the past three years.” “And our aggressive approach to ensure that we process and add value

to all our crops is beginning to open up new income streams for our farmers,” he said.

He also said that Nigeria’s food import bill declined from N1.1 trillion in 2011, to N634 billion by December of 2013 and has continued to decline.

On the launch of composite flour cassava bread, the minister said a bold statement has been made, as Nigeria would secure the livelihood of farmers by partially substituting imported wheat with cassava, a

crop for which Nigeria is ranked Number One in the world for production.

He noted that the approval of a cassava bread fund to support farmers and small and medium sized enterprises, including master bakers and processors all along the cassava bread value chain, would go a long way in re-positioning the commodity.

He further said the substitution of wheat with high quality cassava flour in the baking of bread would save the nation N125 billion yearly, adding that the policy of inclusion of cassava flour has come into effect.

According to him, “All bread being consumed in Nigeria now contains cassava flour. And all cakes and confectionaries you eat now contain cassava flour.

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