A 19-person delegation comprising processors and stakeholders from the cassava sector of Liberia have returned home after completing a one-week cassava study tour of Nigeria.The visit afforded them the opportunity to learn about Nigeria’s cassava sector success stories, the challenges involved and the ways to improve the cassava business to ensure sustainability in job creation and the improvement of food security.The tour was the second of its kind sponsored by the Liberia Agribusiness Development Activity (LADA). In November 2016, LADA sponsored a similar study tour in rice industrialization and commercialization in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA).The cassava study tour was supported by the Smallholder Agricultural Productivity Enhancement and Commercialization (SAPEC), a MOA project, sponsored by the African Development Bank and the World Bank.Cassava is a major crop cultivated by both small and large scale farmers in Liberia.Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava in the world and has taken major steps to industrialize and commercialize cassava production. Nigeria produces over 19% of the world production followed by Brazil, Thailand, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.While in Nigeria the Liberian delegation visited a number of important institutions including FIIRO-Industrial Research Institute in Lagos, responsible for research on cassava utilization and processing; Psaltery International (Ado-Awaiye); Starch Factory and Eagleson Cassava (Iseyin, Oyo State), producer of high quality cassava flour, cassava starch, and gari.Another major establishment toured by the delegation was the Niji Lucas Enterprise (Ilero, Oyo State), producer of fabricated farming machineries, starch and high quality cassava flour. This enterprise also has a cassava plantation of over 4,000 acres. The team also visited the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), a cassava research venture, to assess the different technologies available, and several food laboratories and cassava businesses in Lagos.The Liberia Agricultural Transformation Agenda (LATA) foresees that cassava will improve the livelihoods of rural people and boost the economy.“The cassava study tour was a great experience for us as processors. It gave us the opportunity to see how our country can use mechanized equipment to produce more cassava to sell on the market. We lack the capacity to produce more cassava as the production of the crop is still being done manually. Now that the government and international partners are working to procure modern equipment that will boost production, we are getting ready for the market,” said Angie Howard, proprietor of Falama Incorporated.Madam Howard stated that for Liberia to become successful in the cassava industry, the government must also introduce a policy that will enhance the production and processing of cassava.“We need a regulation that will require that every bread flour or bread produced in Liberia must contain 10 percent cassava to ensure increased market opportunity for both farmers and processors,” she stated.For her part, Gertrude Cooper of the New Generational Women Farmers in Clay Ashland, Montserrado County said: “We are very thankful to the government and LADA for affording us the opportunity to travel to Nigeria and experience how our country can boost cassava production to create jobs and end hunger.”Others inspect various cassava productsShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
getty images 4 Man United fans would hate to see him go 4 Our squad needs a revamp, a new lick of paint, an upgrade if you will.Manchester United’s Anthony Martial is a great way to start.Despite often finding himself on the bench at Old Trafford this season, the attacker scored 11 goals and managed 10 assists in all competitions throughout the campaign.To put it into context, that’s the goals of Erik Lamela, Moussa Sissoko, Lucas Moura, Eric Dier, Victor Wanyama, Harry Winks and Mousa Dembele combined. Yikes.Some may be reading this and asking, ‘surely there are other bigger names Spurs can sign this summer?’But when you look at the names out there, it’s slim pickings.Heading into this new era for the club, [chairman] Daniel Levy will want a marquee signing to unveil at the new stadium. Martial can be that man.Back in 2015, when United signed him from Monaco, the £36million transfer fee made Martial the most expensive teenager in world football.Dubbed the ‘next Thierry Henry’, he was one of the hottest properties in European football, with his debut season under Louis van Gaal living up to the hype. 4 Anthony Martial made his United debut under Louis van Gaal 4 Mauricio Pochettino signed a new deal to stay as manager French sources at the time listed Tottenham as one of the interested parties in the player, with Martial allegedly interested in working under Pochettino.But how can Spurs spend that much with a new ground on the way? Well, they may not have to.For many, the realisation that Toby Alderweireld will eventually leave the club has become more and more realistic as of late.Reports this week suggest a deal is very close for the Belgian to join Jose Mourinho’s side, with some suggesting Martial will head to North London as part of the deal.Should United want to explore such an option, a little digging shows they really wouldn’t miss the Frenchman as much as they think.Their win percentage actually improves without him, rising from 65.4 per cent with, to 66.7 per cent without – a reflection of Mourinho’s dip in trust of the player.If the United gaffer believes Martial’s lack of impact is an issue, this suggests the former Monaco man should be starting instead of being an impact sub – a role in the starting XI something he would undoubtedly adopt at Spurs.But do Spurs really need him?Well, we saw back in March that Pochettino likewise is losing trust in his other attacking options, opting to use Erik Lamela rather than Fernando Llorente in place of the injured Harry Kane.We need a better standard of alternative options. Too many times this season we’ve called upon the likes of Moussa Sissoko to bring new energy into a game and seeing underwhelming results.Martial’s versatility means that in game he can switch between the left wing, behind the striker or indeed up top alongside Kane should the situation demand it. Within our current squad, only Heung-Min Son boasts this ability. Manchester United forward Anthony Martial wants out of Old Trafford and Sean Cook (@TalkingTHFC on Twitter) explains why it’s a transfer that needs to happen…I’m going to make this plain and simple. Spurs are in need of a star.There comes a point when analysing an over-performing squad such as Tottenham’s when you need to realise this group can only take us so far. It’s a bitter truth if the club truly wants to achieve something greater.[Manager] Mauricio Pochettino thinks it, as was reflected in his post-season comments; and I do too. Bringing in a player who can not only compliment Kane, but provide goals from elsewhere on the pitch, would only benefit Tottenham going forward.He’s fast, he’s versatile and he’s a big name. Tick, tick and tick.And just picture the scene: a hot summers day at the new Tottenham stadium, Anthony Martial doing keepie-uppies in front of the media and an exciting era at the club set to unfold.Get it done, Daniel. We know you want to.