As part of efforts geared towards earning foreign exchange through agriculture, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh has inaugurated a technical working committee to fast track the export of yam by July.
This is as it emerged that the Chinese government are requesting for dry yams from Nigeria.
The Minister while inaugurating the committee in Abuja said Nigeria is one of largest producer of yam, accounting for 61.7 percent of the world production with over 60 varieties.
Unfortunately, Nigeria is not among yam exporting countries, the minister said.
He assured Nigerians that the yam export would not in any away affect local consumption, saying that government would scale up intervention in the yam production, as farmers in the country were willing to increase production to meet both local demand and export purpose.
Pointing out that a lot of yam production was going on in Zakibiam in Benue State, the Minister said government would leverage on it and also spread production across the entire country.
He lamented Ghana, which produces far less than any yam producing state in Nigeria, has taken over the European market. He said: “Ghana is controlling Africa’s yam export market. I am not sure if Ghana produce as much yam as any state of the federation”.
The Chairman of the Committee, Prof Simon Tsange said they have been doing underground work on the program adding that the committee would ensure that in six months’ time, Nigerian yams would hit the international market.