Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Col. Milland Dikio (rtd), says the 60-metric ton daily Cassava Processing Factory has been approved to train and employ PAP delegates on cassava farming and starch processing. The factory fortified with modern equipment to process starch from cassava was built by the Bayelsa State Government at Ebedebiri in Sagbama Local Government Area of the state. Dikio, who was represented by his Special Assistant on Projects, Godwin Ekpo, during an inspection visit to the multi-billion naira factory, said that about 1000 PAP delegates would be trained in the cassava value chain and employed as out-growers of cassava stems.
This, he said was in line with PAP’s Train-Employ and Mentor (TEM) empowerment strategy. He said the decision to send ex-agitators to the facility also aligned with the food security focus of PAP’s programme, adding that delegates would learn cassava cultivation, production, processing, equipment maintenance, and other businesses involved in the cassava value chain.
The PAP boss said, “This is a 60 metric tons of cassava processing plant. It has a huge capacity and it is part of the facility that we will use for our “Train, Employ and Mentor empowerment strategy.“Even if everybody in this community plants cassava, it has the capacity to absorb all of it. We can see the entire value chain. This is a facility that will help many of our delegates and give them employment. It is an incredible facility located in the region. It will help them and also achieve our vision of turning these ex-agitators into entrepreneurs.”
The Project Management Consultant for the facility, Mr. Adebowale Ayoade, described it as the biggest industrial starch plant in Nigeria and the second largest in sub-Sahara Africa. He said that the delegates would receive theoretical and practical training on cassava cultivation and management.