Posted by News Express | 29 September 2015 | 6,260 times
The Director (Agro), Allied Atlantic Distilleries Ltd, Mr. Rajavelu Rajasekar has advised the government to assist Nigeria Cassava Growers Association to establish ethanol plants to enable them to benefit from their trade.
Rajasekar, who made the call in an interview with the News agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Monday, said ethanol was an international commodity and that Nigeria imported 300 million litres of ethanol annually.
He advised the Federal Government to help boost cassava production, especially in the areas of reducing the cost of cultivation.
“Many farmers are not easily accessible by cassava processors; we should consider creating a buy-back system for the crop.
“If this is introduced, the farmers will be assured that there is a guaranteed market for their produce.”
Rajasekar said that the company presently produced 30,000 litres of ethanol from 250 tonnes of raw cassava everyday.
“We are the foremost company to produce ethanol in Nigeria from fresh cassava.
“Allied Atlantic is presently producing 30,000 litres of ethanol daily from fresh cassava and Nigeria imports 300,000,000 litres of ethanol annually.
“We need to seize the opportunity of being the highest producer of cassava in Africa to grow Nigeria’s economy by encouraging local production of the spirit.”
The director told NAN that the company had a cassava out-growers programme through which farmers were engaged to cultivate the tuber crop.
According to him, the company has 5,000 hectares of cassava farmland in Ogun and Oyo States.
“Since 2007, we have been getting cassava from our out-growers and we have 5,000 hectares in Ogun and Oyo states.
“Every year, we source cassava from 5,000 out-grower cassava farmers.” (NAN)
•Photo shows Cassava tubers
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