N Abila and V N E Uzokwe
Busho Serenity Foundation, Nigeria
International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Tanzania
Scientific Tracks Abstracts: J Fundam Renewable Energy Appl
Cassava is increasingly being cultivated for much more than food in Nigeria. Industrial utilization of cassava for starch, ethanol and flour is on the increase in the major production belts across the country. This industrial cassava utilization trend can be seen as one of the benefits-outcomes of the many initiatives in the last two decades which aimed at further exploring the crop beyond its staple potentials. As a country facing persistent energy challenges, Nigeria can derive some succors from the production of cassava for energy. There exists opportunity for producing ethanol to meet the set target for petrol-ethanol blending. This paper explores the present and future potentials of stimulating the production of cassava as an energy crop. The paper attempts to answer the questions relating what are the advantages and disadvantages of promoting the production of cassava as an energy crop. To answer the questions of this research, data were sourced from the secondary sources, including the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) production statistics. The estimation of the potential derivable biofuels from cassava is based on the ethanol yield given by Mekonnen and Hoekstra. Nigeria can derive upto 9.23 million cubic meters of ethanol from cassava based on the current production. As Nigeria is setting the stage for boosting agricultural production towards diversifying and stimulating the economy, the country must pay more attention to cassava as a crucial focal crop. The paper presents recommendations for exploiting the potentials of cassava as an energy crop.
N Abila holds a Doctor of Science degree in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Vaasa, Vaasa, Finland. He is a Development Economist with special interest in fueling sustainable development and economic growth. He received the Åbo Akademi Award for his publications on the subject of renewable energy development in 2014. He has also received several grants including Fortum Foundation and Hilda and Evald Nissi Foundation Scholarships. He has published journal articles in high ranking international journals.