Master Bakers Association on Thursday called on the Federal Government to subsidise the cost of cassava flour to encourage members produce bread and other confectionery with the flour without incurring losses.
The Chairman of the association in Rivers, Dr Chidi Orlu, made the call in Port Harcourt during a capacity building development for master bakers in the state on the use of high quality cassava flour for baking bread and other confectionery.
The programme was organised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD).
Orlu said the current cost of cassava flour in the country had discouraged bread production with the flour and posed a serious challenge to government’s effort towards stopping wheat importation for bread making.
He said that it was cheaper to produce bread and other confectionery using wheat flour than to produce them with cassava flour, pointing out that garri and cassava flour were made from the same raw material.
“For instance, you need 2.5kg of butter to produce good bread with 50kg of cassava flour while about 500g of butter can be used to produce bread with 50kg of wheat flour.
“Inflation is now so high. Where do we get high quality cassava flour and if available, at what rate?
“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 demand from bakers.
“All over the world, when you start a project of this nature the desire may not be achieved at the begining; it’s something you get in the long run,” he said.
Earlier in a keynote address, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, said the agriculture policy of government was poised to build agribusiness ecosystem that would address the challenges in the agricultural sector.
The minister, represented by the South-South Zonal Director, FMARD, Mr Michael Brooks, said promotion and adoption of 20 per cent cassava flour in bread and confectionery to reduce wheat importation had been on.
Abubakar said the government programme had the potential to generate mass employment, save the country billions of naira wheat importation daily and eliminate hunger, among others.
“However, the cassava inclusion policy implementation has failed to acheive desired objectives of master bakers’ demand for cassava flour due to certain challenges which stakeholders are trying to address at present,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that highlights of the event included training of participating bakers in cassava flour bread production by the resource person, Mr Ganiyu Kehinde, a pastry chef.
One of the participants, Mr Hilary Nwanajuo, commended the ministry for organising the training, saying it had enriched their knowledge of baking bread with cassava flour.
He also noted that the high cost of high quality cassava flour had posed a serious challenge to the industry and urged government to do something to bring donw the cost of the product. (NAN)
Snapchat teenage porn actress jailed for cybercrime in Ilorin
The Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday secured the conviction of one Daniel James, a Black American female on Snapchat over internet related fraud.
James was charged along side one Atadoga Samuel for same offence.
In his judgment, Justice Mohammed Sani, sentenced James to eight months imprisonment with option of fine of N200,000.
The judge ordered that one Techno Phone used to perpetrate the crime and $150 USD which he collected from the unlawful activities be forfeited to the Federal Government.
On the other hand, the judge sentenced Samuel to six months imprisonment with option of fine of N200,000.
The court ordered that one Gionee S10 Phone recovered from defendant at the point of arrest and $25 US Dollars that he benefited from the unlawful activities be also forfeited to the federal government.
The convicts, who were prosecuted separately on one count charge, pleaded guilty to their respective charges.
Earlier, Counsel to the EFCC, Rashidat Alao, told the court how credible intelligence led to the arrest of the defendants at Dekina and Olamaboro Local Government Areas of the Kogi.
She tendered the extra-judicial statements of the defendants, mobile phones and several fraudulent messages printed from their devices, which were admitted in evidence.
She said that James fraudulently collected $150 dollars from one Karma Jones on March 25 via your Snap Chat application linked email@example.com.
While Samuel fraudulently collected $25 dollars sometimes in May from Alaina Hicks via your Snap Chat application linked to an email address firstname.lastname@example.org
Thereafter, Alao urged the court to convict the defendants based on their admittance of guilt. (NAN)