Dr. Samson Odedina, Provost of the Federal College of Agriculture, Akure, has said that the country can make over N10bn from cassava leaves and pills annually.
He also said many people could get employed and make a lot of money from the processing of cassava leaves and pills.
The don stated this in an interview with SUNDAY PUNCH on FECA campus, Akure, the state capital.
Odedina, who also spoke about the training of young farmers last Thursday and Friday by some agro-allied organisations in collaboration with the institution on how to process cassava leaves and make money, said FECA would introduce the cassava waste training to its students.
He said, “Before now, you know people made money from cassava tubers only; after some time, we discovered that one can make money from the stems. Now as experts, we have discovered that you can make money from the leaves and pills and lot of young people can make a living from that.
“Now that we have problem of Fulani herdsmen, we know that people can use the pills and leaves to prepare feeds that people can buy to feed their cattle and goats.
“Apart from having the pills, we can also have jobs for young people. The amount of money that cassava leaves and pills alone can deliver to the system is in excess of N10bn and we need our youths to key into that.”
Odedina said younger farmers trained on the campus of the institution were expected to make money first from cassava waste processing so that the venture would be attractive to other youths.
The Country Director, Harvest Plus Nigeria, Mr. Paul Ilona, said the training was important for the youths, saying cassava pills and leaves processing was another way to generate money and employment in the country.
He said “Cassava has leaves, stems and tubers. We harvest over 54 million metric tonnes of cassava annually but over 25 per cent of that goes into waste when you pill; 25 per cent of 54 million metric tonnes translate to over 12 million metric tonnes. This can be converted into a new product and certainly new enterprises and jobs will be created in the animal feeds sector.”