The Nigerian national cassava platform was launched with the support of Grow Africa and IDH – the Sustainable Trade Initiative in April 2015 as one of three national platforms (the other two are in Ghana and Mozambique) aimed at building a market for cassava products used in industrial processes. The platforms bring together producer groups, processors, off-takers, financiers and the public sector to work together on building links between actors along the chain at the national level.
Cassava is traditionally a subsistence crop, and being highly perishable it has mostly been consumed at the household level. But it can also be turned into high-quality cassava flour (HQCF), food-grade starch, and food-grade ethanol. Its applications range from food and drink products to glues, plywood, textiles and pharmaceuticals.
As the world’s largest cassava producer, with an output of 53 million metric tonnes in 2013, Nigeria is already well positioned to take advantage of the value-addition potential of this indigenous crop. In recent years the government’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda has prioritised value addition in agriculture, and the newly launched platform builds on that policy.
The Nigeria Cassava Platform’s goal is to enable:
- Effective coordination of the sector through dialogue and aligned public/private vision.
- Exchange of intelligence and information on policies that will incentivize sustainable and inclusive investments in the sector
- Support for the public sector in creating effective policies for the new supply chain.
- Shared learning and innovation between the industry, civil society, government and research.
- Collaboration and innovation on key non-competitive areas
The platform is open to members from:
- Cassava producers
- Cassava processors
- End-users of cassava products
- Government and research organisations
- Input providers
- Civil society
The platform has been registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria as the Industrial Cassava Stakeholders Association of Nigeria and trustees have been appointed. Currently, 100,000 farmers are affiliated to the platform.