Kogi Govt Moves to Curtail Spread of Poisonous Cassava

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The Kogi Government says it has taking steps to contain a poisonous cassava variety containing high concentration of Hydrogen Cyanide across the state.

The Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Kehinde Oloruntoba, made the disclosure when he visited a cassava farm on Thursday at Adavi Local Government Area of the state.
According Oloruntoba, He got the report from the chairman of Adavi Local Council that poisonous cassava peels killed seven goats on the spot after consumption.
“The governor immediately directed an immediate assessment of the situation and take proactive steps to identify and destroy all the poisonous cassava in farmlands to curtail its spread.
“In November 2016, we lost some people to poisonous cassava flour in this same area.
“The test results carried out by the state’s Ministry of Health revealed that the flour contained a high concentration of hydrogen cyanide, not compatible with the body.
“That is why we are here to meet with cassava farmers; get information from them and subsequently agree on how to destroy the farmlands and compensate the farmers.
“We will take samples and go back to further do another round of test to ascertain the exact cause of the high cyanide concentration.
“Whatever results we obtained will be made known to the public because it is possible that the poisonous variety might have traveled far to other areas and out of the state,” Oloruntoba said.
The Chairman of the council, Mr Ajoge Abu told NAN that nine persons died in Nov. 2016 due to consumption of poisonous cassava flour which was a sad incident that really affected the residents.
“As soon as we got the information about the dead animals from the community leader, we immediately moved into action and isolated all the cassava tubers and flour from the markets and households for further investigation.
“We are happy that the governor has taken a proactive step by sending a team of experts here to get the update and find a lasting solution to the reoccurring problem,” Abu said.
Mr Adinoyi Etudaiye, a Principal Research Officer, National Root Crops Research Institute, Umudike, told NAN that the institute would start with the product that killed the goats.
“The issue of variety is actually very difficult to identify now, but we will contact cassava breeders who should have basic information on the appearance of the stem, leaves and colour of the cassava,” Etudaiye said.
Mrs Omotayo Yakubu, who bought the cassava tuber from the market, told NAN that she bought the fresh poisonous cassava tubers from ‘Nagari market’ in Adavi.
According to her, I bought tubers for commercial purposes and my neighbour collected some of the peels to feed her goats, but unfortunately the two goats died immediately after consumption.
“The woman rushed down to inform me about the incidence, but I did not believe her because I bought the cassava from Nagari market very fresh as usual for my business.
“So, I took some of the peels to give my goats to confirm the truth, I was surprised when all the five goats died instantly after eaten the peels.
“I immediately reported the incident to our community leader,” Yakubu narrated.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that nine persons, two women and seven children died between Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, 2016, in Ogaminana community in Adavi Local Government area after a meal of cassava flour.

Group of experts examining the fermented poisonous cassava flour at Adavi police Station

Credits: Stephen Adeleye | NAN


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