The Federal Government says it has begun sensitisation of stakeholders in the North-West on strategic implementation of the Cassava Bio-ethanol Value Chain project.
Mr Nebolisa Anako, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, stated this at the inauguration of the exercise, on Tuesday in Kano.
According to Anako, the aspiration of the federal government is to bring about higher Domestic Growth Product (GDP), and to significantly reduce unemployment by creating meaningful opportunities for the youths.
Represented by Muhammad Kabir, Director, Finance and Accounts in the ministry, said the bio-economic policy aimed at promoting sustainable economic growth and development by creating a bio-based economy that would contribute to job creation, poverty reduction, and increased access to food and energy.
This, he said, would be achieved through the development of cassava bio-economy and other bio-resources.
Anako lauded the Federal Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) for enduring partnership in developing the bio-economy policy, adding that it was a ministerial deliverable captured in the National Development Plan of 2021 – 2025.
He said that the framework would employ a Triple-Helix Knowledge Transfer Partnership in its implementation.
“This includes the academia, research and development Institutes, farmers, the private sector and government MDAs, as well as civil society, development partners and development finance institutions.
“It is pertinent to look at the bio-economy response and how it can contribute to the deceleration of the rising food insecurity.
”The country, at this time, needs an approach that will increase food production, youth employment, and increased growth through the provision of industrial feedstock and exportable products to boost our economy.
“To achieve this, one strategic pathway is to develop the Cassava Bio-ethanol Value Chain. This becomes even more imperative, given the recent removal of subsidy on petroleum products, re-evaluation of the Naira through the merging of official and non-official exchange windows,” he said.
According to him, the objective of the project is to demonstrate the efficacy of private sector-led approach in promoting investment in renewable biomass, wealth creation, provide jobs, reduce poverty and improve food security.
Gov. Abba Kabir-Yusuf, restated the state government’s commitment towards developing the project.
Represented by Ibrahim Jibrin, the state Commissioner for finance, said that a programme of this nature, would benefit a large population of the state.
Also, the project, Prof. Ken Ife, said the workshop would highlight the inaugural focus on the Cassava bio-ethanol value chain project, which would stimulate industrial growth, enhance food production and availability, across the country.
He underscored the need to engage universities with a view to producing young bio-entrepreneurs and extension service agents to boost agricultural productivity.
Ife stresed need to create new initiatives, aimed at addressing youth unemployment in the country.
Similarly; Mr Felix Okonkwo, Director, Macro Economic Analysis in the Ministry, said the objective behind the initiative was to reinforce government’s commitment towards achieving key national goals.
He listed the focus areas to include enhancing food nutrition, promoting agriculture and ensuring food security to the Sustainable Development Goals.
Some of the participants who spoke to our correspondent commended the federal government for the project and promised to step down the knowledge.