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Cassava bread: Good initiative lacking public awareness?

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  • Forty-5ix Sunday Tribune, 16 September, 2012

    ~cial Cas~,ava bread: la i g pub

    ood initiative c awareness?

    EMMANU::;L ADENIYI and COLLINS NNABUIFE examine the Federal Government initiative on cassava-wheat composite bread, which may be up against a brick wall should government and other relevant bodies fail to spread awareness about it.

    W HEN Ihe Mlnlsler of AgrlcullUre, Dr Ak nwuml Adeslna. disclosed re""ntly that NI~ertll Iways spenl clo e to N635b an-nually for .he 1m JOrtaUon of wheat used for bread producUon mUe ,lid Ihe naUon reall e the full weight of this revl!hUc n

    Possibly In Ih' mind of the minister. who has taken the hull b) the horns 10 revamp agrtcullural sector 01 tht e< 0 ,omy. there could be some rack eleerlng and pl. as by some people 10 sabotage government' elfe rts In the sec lor.

    Just a harp practices are recorded In lhe nauon's all &eCtOI . the lendency of agncultural sec-lor serving as a "erttable tool In U,e hands of cer-lain Indlvtduals II hoodwtnk and engage In corrup-lion Is alsc said 1I0l to be Improbable .

    A I(ood ~, amp e of malpractices going on In the sec lor Is the calnpalgn of calumny being raised agalnsl th, CB.!!Si va bread Inilialive of the Federal Governmelll \\'1- lie some people. for the reasons best knowlI '0 I h' m. are said 10 have cen the move as a dealt kn~1I for them and th~tr tmport busi-nesses. olllfrs u e said to have whipped up public senttment lIlalns the InIUaUn 10 prolect their eco-nomic Inler"sL ...

    of cassava III Ihe world. Yet. we ar U,e largest im-porter of wheal In the world

    According 10 him U,e developmenl has compdled U,e government to explore the opUon of using cas-sava flour In bread producUon tn the country so as to reduce tons of wheat Imported 10 Nigeria.

    Howt:vr.r. public opinion seems to be averse La U,e InlUaU\e. as many people 5e~ It as a joke and one of those government's policies thaI will not stand the tesl of Ume.

    A wbeallmporter. who also has a bread bakery In Lagos. told Sunday Tribune under condition of ano-nymity tlull the initio Uve would force many of them out of business. adding that their pront margin \Vould slmUarly nosedive.

    "TIlere Is lItUe or no pro/ll In bread baking per se. Ulls Is why I rombtne It wIth wheal ImportaUon business to make some money. We will never proy the policy should succeed. HonesUy. as I am spcalGreat feedbacks from different people wbo bave eaten our produCls have been pouring In. We have tried dlJTerent recipes. Uke 20, 30 and 50 per cent cassava nour. and responses fTOm people bave been so wonderful . Nobody rejected tbe bread from the hundreds offeedback we received.

    Does India use ca.s.saoa flour in the production of bread. if yes, in what way can Nigeria -~""' .-- -.:-- learn from In

  • Sunday Tribune. 16 Sep=-te:.:mbe.:.=-.:...r....:._2--'O'--1c.:2 ____________ _

    (~frompage46J at..-eptability of cassava-wheat bread by Nigerians who hold the belief tha t t"Ollsllmlng the product Is harmCul to huma n health

    A bread consumer, "'rs Janet Odugbemt. saId she and her family would never eat t h e bread. because of t h e hIgh level of toxicity In cassava used for makm g It

    Proving the foregOIng wfong . President. t h e NUlr1l10n Society o f NI-geria. Prokssor Ignao us Onlmawo. said this was not truc .

    Accord ing 10 him . .. . adding cassa\'a flour will nOI Increase the gly-cemIc Index of bread. 11 will nOI aggravate diabe-les. In fac l. It may lower It. The glycemic Index of wheal n o ur Is hIgher Ihan Ihal of cassava. II

    Is only whole whe a l bread that has lower gly-cemic Index. "

    While spealUng wllh Sunday Tribune . Mr Tunde Oshldolu . s aid

    there was no difference benveen cassava-wheal bread and wholly wheal bread.

    "I have ea len Ihe bread; there Is no dlITer-

    ence between I t and Lhe ones I have ealen before. I will suggesl we run a campaign and educate our people lhal II has b e en sc ie ntificall y

    proven thaI the b read Is heallhy and nuLri lIou .-he n oted.

    Mos l p eopl e who spoke with S und ay Tri-bune are o f the opinion

    Forty-Seven

    t h a t cassava-wheat breac Initiative needs LO be given a deq u a le pro-motJon S CI as to c reate

    eno~~t- a,,"aren~s a bout II among Igerlans

    "We eat 100 per cent cassava bread in Sierra Le WE tDOuld you say about Dr Gbassay Tarawall is a Sierra Leonean and Project Manager It? We have been b thaI this CC1S$C1J>CJ bread? Do you eat Is the right th1ng. c assaua bread In your in the cassava value chain unit of the International Institute RIghI now SIerra I 00 a S and the

    country as well? of Tropical Agriculture (UTA), Ibadan. He spoke with MiniStry of Agrlculhlrq haye ~CCePted I am an African who b. elleves In EMMANUEL ADEN1Yl on the viability of producing cassava- cassava bread natunlh,.. n.=y Ijlow have

    the aUevtaUon of poverty and also an their own blend. nfl ~en t local one agronomIst who oeeds to feed people. wheat composite bread in NIgeria. Excerpts: we have been allng rom lime We cal 100 per cent cassava bread In Sierra Leone. It Is the menlallty of people. they stili link ImmemOrial . bUI the one tha co Ics currenl It Is a dclJcacy. We have a way ofprepartng It. Ills everything to the past. I mean local vBJiety of recipe; and It waS copied fro!" Igem. lbe only Uke pancake made from graled cassava and fried cassava that Is biller. With blgh cyanide conlent. IImJlaUon they have now Is that they ddn't have In 011. Ills Oal. you can pUI nsh or slew In It and Did you consider tast"p~erence ofNigerian.s cassava nour Itself 10 mix with 'Vi,eal . 50 th.eyare people eat It every day, yel they survive. Once you befare coming up with cassava bread fnltiatlue planniog 10 Import frc;>m Thal fBl'Dl In Og Stale. ea l Il In the morning, you would probably be since they are used to bread made whoUyfTOI'Il Does It hau" any h.ealth bimoifJLs7 1 drinking water for the whole day. wheat? I am nOI an expert In thaI rellil'd. bUll then we

    It doesn't h the -jlfe-span of NOl at aU . I have been eaung It since I was a Is It not the whiLe man? I'm not trytng to be raclSI the bread. and we dlJicovered Uta. frOID themlcal

    young boy. and then nothing has happened. In fact. here, but If the wheat was not there, and It had to analysis It can go for two or ilt e d1jYs though if I go 10 Sierra Leone now I Will go to 10wn to buy be mixed. do you think people wouldn't buy or eal mosL people who buy bread "l'QSUDlQ. It the same cass ava bread . I don ' l know why they dldn' , day. The other thlng about b~ I IS that who told promole II over the years, bUI It Is there. In fact. people that It should bave square shape aD \he tlmC? o ther people are capItalising on Ihe ftndJngs of lITA It Is braIt:twashIng. tt can be IUUJ:Id. ~ nat t!r oblong. here In Sierra Leone. We have to be dyoamlc and IIcxlb'Ie. TIlle)' sllouid, give US

    In Nigeria. UTA and the Federal Gooernment opportunlty to ftne..tune wbat we l in: doing. urc has are advocating c:assaua-wheat composite bread. slarted mass producl1oo of the brepd, t.as anybody and peopl" are ralstog eyebrows against the oonsumJog ttdJed?TI.e president Is ~I:n csUngcassava move. what ls actually wrong? bread since they launched II. has 1JIlYlh~ happened

    Why should they ratse eyebrows agaInst It? I to hIm? We are very CQDIldent of "'I~ .... -e arc doing. think It has 10 do with the psyche or menlalJty of because we have Improved var1ety Jlf f!:snva. we have the people. If you go to our 1 Bouse here, whal we the technology of prodUcing U' e nower and the serve there Is cassava bread. I was with some lecbnlquc for bakIrJg The only , Is ptJlOOIlIn and J a panese guys there recenUy who ale cookies made marketing. from cassava with me, I asked them if anythtng What have m'A and the~ ~ent was wrong With the cookJes, they said no. If you don.e to reach out to Rig r a and create eat II you would not know Ills 40 per cent cassava