Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is the chief source of dietary food energy for the majority of the people living in the lowland tropics, and much of the sub-humid tropics of West and Central Africa. Therefore, its production and utilization is given prime attention in food policy. Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava in the world with an annual production of 39 million tonnes as at 2014. Although Nigeria is reputed as the largest producer of cassava in the world, it is not an active participant in cassava trade in the international markets because most of her cassava is targeted at the domestic food market.? Nigeria?s production methods are primarily subsistence in nature and therefore unable to support industrial level demands.
The Nigerian government in a bid to promote cassava as a viable foreign exchange earner for Nigeria and also develop cassava production system in order to sustain the national demand launched the Presidential Initiative on Cassava in 2003. This brought cassava and its potentials to the national limelight. Opportunities have been discovered by various research and development agencies in the processing of cassava especially to meet industrial demand in both local and international markets. It is therefore necessary for Nigeria to adopt a demand-driven approach in promoting, developing and diversifying its cassava based industries.
As the main food staple for urban and rural people in the south and the central States of the country, cassava already makes a major contribution to the Nigerian economy.? Additionally, the market for industrially processed cassava is growing? – Estimates indicate the potential short-term demand for industrial cassava at about 8.8 million MT of fresh cassava annually.
This feasibility report examines the market, technical, operational and financial viability of ?setting up a Cassava processing plant to produce cassava flour, starch and ethanol in Nigeria.