Cassava is the main staple crop in Nigeria. While it is inexpensive and a good source of carbohydrates, it lacks nutritional value, as it is a poor source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Nigerians who are restricted to the consumption of a cassava-based diet are at risk of micronutrient malnutrition, which can cause blindness, stunting, and increased susceptibility to disease.
To combat hidden hunger, HarvestPlus and its partners have bred provitamin A-rich yellow cassava varieties. Through literature review, this paper explores the value chain of Nigerian cassava, looks for potential market entry points for provitamin A-rich yellow cassava varieties, and makes suggestions for where demand-pull mechanisms could be featured in the chain. Among other findings, it is established that cassava value chains are characterized by a lack of market information flow; economies of scale in cassava processing are restricted by the unreliable supply of cassava from farmers, seasonal glut, financing difficulties, and inferior infrastructure; and transport is the most costly link in the value chain due to poor road conditions.
The large domestic cassava market, the potential for exporting high-quality cassava products, the increasing urban population growth, and the existence of farmers who supply fresh tubers to high-quality cassava flour processors all represent possible entry points and pull mechanisms for provitamin A-rich yellow cassava varieties if the varieties are accepted and consumed by target populations. This paper suggests methods by which the cassava value chain could be made more hospitable to the new varieties through the implementation of incentive-based programs and public-private partnerships that can promote contract farming.
McNulty, E.; Oparinde, A. Cassava Value Chain in Nigeria: A Review of the Literature to Inform the Integration of Vitamin A Cassava. (2015) 20 pp. [HarvestPlus Research for Action No. 4]