Bread bakers have resolved to increase prices and reduce production, following the high cost of condiments and other means of production.
This was disclosed by a Master Baker, Thomas Odey, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Calabar.
It would be recalled that bakers in the state had made several complaints following the high cost of condiments for bread and other confectionary production.
Odey said the Cross River master bakers did not join the national body in their two weeks withdrawal of service but resolved to increase price and reduce the quantity of production to prevent wastage.
The Director of Canaan Delight Bakery Nigeria Limited asserted that a withdrawal of service was not good for the system as a lot of average Nigerians would suffer because bread was a staple commodity in the country.
“The planned increment is not even enough, this is because the price of every means of production has increased from condiments to diesel and all other raw materials.
“This is a global issue that is not peculiar to Nigeria or materials for baking alone but the price of every foodstuff has increased significantly.
“In my contacts with big flour mills in the country, they will tell you the Russia/Ukraine crisis, exchange rate and the issue of sourcing foreign currency are posing major challenges and increasing the price of wheat flour,” he said.
Speaking further, Mr Odey noted that the use of cassava and potato flour was an option but the challenge was that the specific species of cassava needed for good flour production was not sufficient in Nigeria.
He said the normal cassava that was common in Nigeria was bitter when used to produce flour while potato cultivation was still largely at subsistence level, making production insufficient in the country.
“In my training with Flour Mill, I discovered that they mixed cassava flour with wheat to get what they used but the kind of cassava they used was a specie we need to develop in large quantities.
“Potato flour is also good and can be combined with wheat flour but the challenge is that it is not enough in the country for industrial purposes and is a seasonal crop.
“Nigeria needs to channel its resources and mindset to developing agriculture and stop paying lip service because if we continue to depend on the importation of foreign raw materials to salvage our few industries, it will never help us,” he asserted.
The master baker said that Nigeria had massive arable land and resources but was not channeling these to develop agriculture,
He added that the food insecurity in the nation would continue until the country was practically intentional about improving agriculture.