BREAD bakers in the country under the umbrella body of Master Baker Association of Nigeria, has written an official letter to the presidency, intimating it on the need to consider the downward review of tariff on wheat.
The Nigerian Compass on Sunday gathered that the letter was dispatched on Thursday.
The bakers have also warned on the imminent hike in price of bread any moment from now should the Federal Government insists on the current tariff on wheat, a major ingredient for flour.
Early this year, President Goodluck Jonathan announced that from July 1, wheat grain will attract a 15 per cent levy, while a 65 per cent levy on wheat flour will be introduced.
Sources close to the association said that the bakers will have no option than to increase the prices of bread from between 100-150 percent.
“A bag of flour is going for N7, 000, prices of sugar, salt and other ingredients are increasing. No electricity, no water. How then do you want us to stay in business without also increasing the prices of breads?” a source said.
The Federal Government has consistently called for inclusion of cassava in wheat flour, saying cassava flour inclusion in wheat flour will save the country a lot of foreign exchange.
The Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akin Adesina, said Nigeria, Africa’s world largest producer of cassava, will save more than N315bn (about $2.1bn) annually if bakers adopt 50 per cent cassava flour inclusion in wheat flour.
According to him, “Apart from Nigeria saving N315bn, it will also create jobs and encourage farmers to produce more.”
In 2002, Nigeria adopted a policy, compelling flour millers to implement 10 per cent cassava flour into wheat flour. The policy backed by improved varieties from International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) raised cassava production by 10 million tons between 2002 and 2008, making the country the largest producer of cassava.
Under the new transfor-mation agenda, Nigeria plans to double its current cassava production from 37 million tons. The Critical ar-eas the government is fo-cusing on are value addi-tion to make production de-mand driven and the im-provement of yield among others.