Wednesday, April 24, 2024

AMBCN Demands Cassava Inclusion to Combat Bread Price Hike

The Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria (AMBCN) has called for the resuscitation of the failed cassava bread initiative, to reduce dependence on wheat through the production of High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) to improve cassava bread production and ensure its acceptability by Nigerians.

The Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria (AMBCN) has called for the resuscitation of the failed cassava bread initiative, to reduce dependence on wheat through the production of High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) to improve cassava bread production and ensure its acceptability by Nigerians.

The National Secretary of AMBCN, who doubles as the Anambra State Chairman of the body, Jude Okafor, while speaking with journalists, described the cassava bread initiative as a good idea that is capable of bailing the country out of the current wheat quagmire.

According to the recent report of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the analysis showed that bread prices rose by about 35 percent between May 2021 and May 2022, due to rising food inflation. In addition to that, there was another 20 percent increase recently introduced in July after a four-day nation-wide strike.

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It was gathered that a bag of flour, which sold for between N8, 000 and N10, 300 before the COVID-19 pandemic, now sells for about N22, 500. A bag of sugar, previously sold for N13, 000 is now N23, 500; a crate of eggs, from N800 to N2, 200; and the price of margarine increased from N5, 800 to N18, 000, among others.

Okafor noted that they, as bakers, are ok with the initiative and that they have made their position known and submitted it to the National Assembly, adding that flour from other crops like potato, sorghum, and millet should also be considered as alternatives to wheat, so that there won’t be any monopoly on the HQCF.

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He appealed to the Federal Government and other stakeholders involved to revive the initiative, explaining that the government should ensure that every loaf contains local content, by mandating millers on the addition and inclusion in flour making.

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