ARMTI Director lists gains of cassava-baked food to diabetes patients

Date: 2012-06-19

There may be no end yet to the controversy trailing the nutritional value of cassava baked food as the Executive Director of Agricultural Management and Training Institute (ARMTI) Ilorin, Mr. Samuel Afolayan, has rated it richer and safer for consumption for diabetes' patients than the much-touted food baked with wheat flour.

According to the ARMTI boss, "cassava is less dangerous than wheat to diabetes patients. But the fact is that some olden days varieties of cassava were more dangerous and had health hazards due to the presence of cyanide in them. Today however people consuming cassava understand the various processing methods that are not hazardous to health. Are you aware of a variety that people use in pounding like yam tubers?"

Afolayan, who spoke with reporters yesterday at Fufu the headquarters of Ilorin South Council of Kwara State, said the varieties of the cassava grown in Nigeria at present were no longer dangerous due to the absence of cyanide in them.

Besides, due to proper processing technique, the cassava products have become safe for human consumption.

"We should all support the initiative of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in the area of encouraging the use of certain percentage of cassava flour for baking in the country. I had tasted some of the baked food produced with this cassava flour, they are even better than the ones we are used to. We need to emulate the people of Bangladesh who cultivate rice and can eat same three times in a day. Our tongue will later adjust to what we produce."

The event was the Village Alive Development Association (VADA), organised by the ARMTI for villagers in the state in order to sensitise them on the importance and inherent benefits in association rather than solitary struggle for survival.

The programme, which drew many villagers to the venue apart from being a capacity building endeavour, was also aimed at encouraging the establishment of savings and credit scheme among them.

The programme recently resuscitated under the leadership of Afolayan will also be introduced to the people of Elerinjare in Ifelodun  Council and those of Falokun-Oja and Apaola.

Besides, while urging Nigerians to pride themselves in the area of agricultural revolution, he said due to the fertility of the nation's soil, the government should make itself a ready market for the agric products produced in the country to serve as an encouragement to the farmers and those intending to farm.

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