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Abstract

The issues of youth unemployment, inequality, poverty, economic recession and associated anti- · social activities are critical challenges currently limiting the development of the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. This study therefore assessed the various cassava agribusiness value chain nodes in the Region, with the view to ascertaining their returns on investment and propensity for attracting the pool of unemployed youths and women into agribusiness and uplifting their livelihoods. Evidence from the study suggests that cassava enterprises, particularly processing, is most promising to attract the youths and women into agribusiness, given its high returns on investment. It thus becomes imperative that cassava enterprises be incorporated into on-going and proposed development interventions of the private sector, government and development partners, with a view to actualising the policy objective of women and youth empowerment in the country, and in particular, the Niger Delta Region, as detailed in the Agricultural Promotion Policy and the Economic and Growth Recovery Plan. The study further recommends that the cassava value chain enterprises should be deployed as focal commodities for the proposed agribusiness incubation centres and the agroindustrial parks, with a view to causing entrepreneurs empowerment and national output, while serving as antidote to economic recession.

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