- Prices of Cassava Stems Drop to N400/Bundle
Prices of cassava stems have nosedived to N400 per bundle after touching a high of N1200 as demand eases in Nigeria, reports from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture have confirmed.
Last year and earlier in 2017, prices of cassava roots and its derivatives such as gari climbed to an all-time high as demand outstripped supply.
Researchers are still expecting data on demand and supply from the National Bureau of Statistics, but cassava roots moved from N13,000 per tonne to about N40,000, according to local buyers.
Cassava is an important crop in Nigeria and the roots are processed to starch, ethanol, flour and gari – a staple.
In 2014, about seven million hectares was planted with cassava, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation.
Most of the varieties planted were from the informal sector, says Dr. Peter Kulakow, a cassava breeder with the IITA, who is also working on the cassava seed systems project.
According to the institute, the Nigerian cassava seed system is not well structured, which is what the project, Building an Economically Sustainable Integrated Seed System for Cassava, is trying to correct.
It added that farmers usually obtained planting materials from previous field, cut them in lengths of about a metre and tied them into bundles comprising 50 stems each for sale.
“Certification from regulators is still rare but the Nigerian Agricultural Seed Council is working with BASICS to set standards and begin the certification of cassava planting materials,” it stated.
Although the reduction in cassava price has also reflected in its by-product-gari, the price reduction is not uniform in all the local markets, it was gathered
For instance, while a paint of gari has reduced from N1,200 to about N600 in Agege, in Ikeja, it still sells for between N800 and N1,000.