‘The efficiency and effectiveness of the various institutions hosting the National Quality Infrastructure in both the public and private sectors are thus critical to the development of the cassava value chain in Africa’
By Valentine Amanze
The National Quality Council (NQC) has appealed to governments in Africa and their quality infrastructure institutions to float national policies that would develop the cassava value chain across the continent.
NQC Chairman and Chief Executive, Osita Aboloma, made the appeal at the African Cassava Conference hosted by Nigeria in Abuja, recently.
In his presentation titled, “The Role of National Governments and National Quality Infrastructure Institutions in the Development of the Cassava Value Chain,” the NQC chairman stated that national governments in Africa could industrialse the continent through the development of cassava-based products and assuring quality along the value chain.
He explained that given the prevalence of the cassava crop in Africa, developing the value chain for food security, nutrition and industrialisation required the collaboration of governments at local, state and the federal levels for optimum gain.
Aboloma stated that local, state and federal governments could aid cassava cultivation and processing via provision of land and extension support services, legal instruments and land approvals as well as policy formulation, implementation, review and coordination.
He also urged governments in Africa to collaborate with the private sector in promoting local fabrication of machinery and equipment for use along the cassava value chain to enhance micro, small and medium-scale enterprises development, job as well as wealth creation, food security and industrialization on the continent.
Besides, Aboloma pointed out that optimization of the Cassava Value Chain in Africa was largely dependent on the efficiency and effectiveness of the National Quality Infrastructure –
Standards’ development and harmonization – to provide necessary quality benchmarks for all the derivates of the crop; conformity assessment, including product and facilities inspection, testing, verification and certification, to confer third party quality assurance.
Others, according to him, include, international accreditation and mutual recognition agreements to guarantee the acceptance of the outcomes of the conformity assessment processes across national borders and metrology, to provide traceability, accuracy and consistency of measurement equipment, thus providing validity of measurement readings in trade and commerce along the cassava value chain.
“The efficiency and effectiveness of the various institutions hosting the National Quality Infrastructure in both the public and private sectors are thus critical to the development of the cassava value chain in Africa”, he said.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, at the event, described cassava as a staple food for millions of Nigerians grows in the 36 states of the federation as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).