Current stability in the prices of garri (cassava flakes) across various markets of the nation has been attributed to efforts made by farmers to reel out massive cassava output in 2017.
The commodity prices for 50 kilogrammes in Lagos, for instance, is currently fixed at N7,500 and has only experienced a year low of N7,000, according to the Financial Derivatives Company (FDC). In January 2016, a bag of garri was N8,000 but it jumped to N20,500 in January 2017 before stabilising at N7,000.
According to Romanus Eze, the chairman, Cassava Farmers’ Association Enugu, in a monitored report, cassava farming increased considerably in all the states across the South-East in 2017, aiding the price fall so far in 2018.
The large-scale cassava farmer explained that the increase in cultivation, last year, was particularly spurred by a cost induced-scarcity of cassava stems as many farmers lost the purchasing power for the huge quantity.
“In 2017, cassava stems were sold to farmers at a high price; some stems were sold at the rate of between N1,500 and N1,800 per bunch. With the high cost of cassava stems in 2017, many people decided to go into cassava farming and this led into massive cassava production and a consequent reduction in the price of garri,” he said.
The state chapter of the association, he said, had mapped out strategies to ensure that the improved scale of production was sustained by sourcing additional markets for the produce.
He said the Anchor Borrower’s Programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had really facilitated the availability of off-takers, adding that the association had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with some off-takers for the purchase of all production.