A farmers’ group has issued a 21-day ultimatum to the House of Representatives to reverse its decision not to approve the executive bill for 20% cassava inclusion in bread flour and use of cassava 100% for the production of bread in the country or face a firm action against the house by the farmers.
The group, Agbekeya Farmers Association Worldwide, in a statement recently threatened that if at the expiration of the ultimatum, and the House did not change its stand, that the farmers would mobilize their associates to stage a massive protest against the House and brand the legislators “enemies of the people”.
The statement argued that NAFDAC has approved the inclusion of cassava in the production of bread flour after examining its health implications and wondered why the House should hold a contrary view.
The farmers noted that Nigeria spends over N230 billion annually on wheat importation but that the country would save about N200 billion annually from the use cassava for bread thereby generating employment opportunities in the agricultural sector, Nigeria being the highest producer of cassava in the world.
The statement posited that cassava is Nigeria’s strength which has to be harnessed.
It will be recalled that one of the reasons why the House threw out the bill is health-related with the contention that high cassava content in bread is injurious to diabetic patients who are many in the country.