Nigeria eyes domestic ethanol production with cassava

Nigeria’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Uche Nnaji, on Friday, announced a plan to develop domestic ethanol production using cassava as a feedstock.

This initiative, marked by a Memorandum of Understanding between Montserrado Investments and the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), aims to establish a cassava-based ethanol plant in Ekiti State.

The project promises a two-fold benefit: economic and environmental. According to Nnaji, the plant could save Nigeria $30 million annually by reducing dependence on imported ethanol. This would represent a significant cost reduction and potentially boost foreign reserves.

Additionally, the Minister highlighted the environmental advantages, suggesting a more sustainable approach by leveraging a locally-sourced renewable resource like cassava.

The Minister said, “It will Support local farmers, creating a sustainable supply chain, and stimulating employment across the agricultural sector.

“It will also reduce reliance on imported cooking fuels by developing a domestic ethanol production industry, thereby safeguarding the economy against global market fluctuations.”

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He added that the government is earnestly sourcing for means of creating dollars through businesses and as such this project would save al ot of funds that would ordinary have been lost on importation.

“Nigeria is the biggest producer of cassava in the whole world with 64 million metric tonnes, and yet, we are deriving just about a million dollars out of cassava. However, we have counties like venezuela which produces about 800,000 metric tones and makes much more money yearly from the crop,” Nnaji buttressed.

Cassava is a staple crop in Nigeria, and this project could create new opportunities for cassava farmers, potentially increasing demand and driving economic growth in rural areas.

However, some details remain unclear. The capacity of the planned plant and the broader strategy for nationwide implementation haven’t been made public yet.

This announcement signifies Nigeria’s intent to explore alternative sources for ethanol, a versatile fuel with applications in biofuels and industrial processes. The success of this initiative will depend on factors like plant efficiency, cassava yields, and potential competition with food production. Nevertheless, the project represents a noteworthy step towards a more self-sufficient and potentially greener energy future for Nigeria.

The post Nigeria eyes domestic ethanol production with cassava appeared first on Latest Nigeria News | Top Stories from Ripples Nigeria.

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