Nigeria’s Agriculture Minister Chief Audu Ogbeh has authoritatively stated that yams from Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation will start getting to the United Kingdom and the United States of America as from next week.
The Minister stated this when he met with the technical committee on Nigerian yam export programme in his office in Abuja. The inaugural flag off of the yam export initiative is scheduled for Apapa Port next week Thursday, June 29th, 2017,
During the proposed launch about 72 metric tonnes of yams consisting of 24 metric tonnes each contained in three containers will be exported.
Two of the containers are billed to be exported to the United States whilst one will be exported to the United Kingdom. While addressing the yam exporters, the Minister praise them for making history and making Nigeria proud by being the pioneer yam exporters from Nigeria. He alluded to the fact that Nigeria accounts for over 60% of the yam grown in the world yet the world does not associate her with yam but crude oil.
Chief Ogbeh enjoined Nigerians to embrace the new vision of the present government by investing in agriculture as it is the only vocation that can employ millions of people as against crude oil that employs few. He expressed optimism that Nigeria would soon surpass other countries to become the number one exporter of yams in the world.
The Minister also appealed to the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) to reduce the inspection charges so that goods from the country can be more competitive in the export market. He advised on the strategy to make yam exports from Nigeria more competitive and attractive such as the kind of trucks conveying yam tubers from the farms to the export centres as well as the design and managing of yam heaps.
On heap making, he further advised that research should be undertaken to evolve the right type of heaps that will be sustainable for our yams in the long run and such research will be supported by government.
Some of the exporters whose yams are billed to be exporter expressed joy that their persistent hard work and faith in their product has finally seen the light of the day. They expressed optimism of better and greater acceptability of Nigerian
Yams and other farm produce in the international market as the countries exporters improve in quality of produce and packaging.