Daily Trust (Abuja)

8 August 2012

Nigeria: Minister Dismisses Claim Cassava Could Increase Diabetes

Ado-Ekiti — Minister of Agriculture Akinwumi Adesina has described as "arrant nonsense" the rumour making the rounds that cassava bread consumption is capable of increasing diabetes among Nigerians, saying the product has low glycemic index compared to other brand of breads in circulation.

The minister said the federal government opted for cassava bread because of huge amount of money spent annually to import wheat into the country for bread production.

The federal government, according to him, spends an average of N635 billion to import wheat for bread production yearly, describing the amount as wasteful and outrageous.

Speaking at the flag off of the Cassava Bread Initiative at Ado Ekiti yesterday, the minister also decried the N10 billion he said is being spent to import food items annually, saying the step was inimical to

the growth of local agricultural products in the country.

In his remarks, Governor Kayode Fayemi promised adequate funding for cassava growers in the state as his administration was determined to create about 20,000 jobs in commercial agriculture

before 2014, with special bias for the growth of cassava.

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