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FG Plans To Add Sweet Potatoes Into Bread Making 

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The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development says it has begun plans to include 40 per cent Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato (OFSP) puree for bread making.

The ministry said the plan is in partnership with the Association of Master Bakers of Nigeria, according to Dr Karima Babanagida, the Director, Federal Department of Agriculture.

Ms Babangida disclosed this at a one-day Stakeholders’ Workshop on Adoption of Sweet potato in Birnin Kebbi on Monday.

The workshop tagged: “Sweet Potato Value Chain”, attracted participants from across the state.

The director was represented by the North-West regional director of the ministry, Ubandoma Ularamu, who urged Agricultural Development Programmes (AFPs) of different states, various commodity associations and farmers groups to embrace the new innovation.

Ms Babangida said: “The Ministry is planning to partner with master bakers and other bakers’ associations to engage them on how to include 40 per cent OFSP puree for bread making.

“This we hope would increase adoption, utilisation and consumption of OFSP across the country.

“It’s my expectation that at the end of this meeting, solutions to the problems identified would have been found and a road map for the potato value chain.”

The top bureaucrat said the ministry’s push is in line with the government’s resolve to avert food scarcity occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

She said sweet potatoes particularly possess lots of health benefits for consumers, hence the government’s drive to incorporate it in Nigerians’ staple diet.

“It has come to the knowledge of the ministry the immense wealth and health benefits in potato production, especially Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato (OFSP) and as such the ministry is willing to explore these opportunities within the Value Chain in furtherance to achieving food security and nutrition for our beloved country,” Ms Babangida said.

She assured the ministry is willing to contribute to the development of the Potato Value Chain through its various agencies and research institutes with mandates in rendering technical services.

The director urged the various research institutes, agencies and development partners with the mandate on the potato value chain to work assiduously to create solutions to the numerous challenges besetting the value chain.

She encouraged them to come up with new technologies and innovations to further improve the production of sweet potato in Nigeria.

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