Sweet potato farmers have called on the Federal Government to enhance local production of the crop, as more bakers embrace the inclusion of Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato (OFSP) in wheat flour.
The adoption of bio-fortified OFSP in bread and other confectioneries by Nigerian master bakers has been targeted at reducing production costs.
According to the farmers, the government must prioritise the production of sweet potatoes as it did with the rice and maize value chain.
National secretary of the Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria, Jude Okafor confirmed the decision of the association to adopt OFSP puree.
Okafor stated that the use of OFSP puree in flour has helped bakers reduce the cost of production per loaf, in the latest analysis based on current prices of inputs and their substitutes.
‘‘Application of OFSP puree in wheat flour for bread reduces the usage of milk, sugar, and wheat flour.
“On every 50kg bag of wheat flour, 1.5kgs of sugar is saved, 10kgs of wheat flour is substituted with the puree, and N180 is saved on every kilogramme substituted.
“So, using 10kgs of OFSP puree with 40kgs of wheat flour reduces the cost of production by N1800, apart from reduction in the quantity of sugar used,’’ Okafor explained.
He added that the shelf life of bread is elongated and 500grm of milk is saved per 50kg-bag of flour when 10kg puree is included.
On his part, the President of the Potato Farmers Association of Nigeria (POFAN), Daniel Okafor stated in a statement that potato farmers are ready for a revolution of OFSP production if master bakers were ready to off-take its puree.
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