Chinese govt demands dry yam from Nigeria
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh has revealed that the Chinese government has placed demand for dry yam from Nigeria to meet industrial and domestic needs.
Making the revelation while inaugurating a technical working committee to fast track the exportation of yam by July 2017 in Abuja, the agriculture minister said the country remained one of the world’s largest producers of yam – which accounts for 61.7 per cent of the global production of the crop.
Chief Ogbeh assured that local production and consumption of the commodity would not be affected by the planned exportation, rather government would scale up yam production.
While noting that high level of yam production was ongoing in Zakibiam, Benue State, the Minister said the government would leverage on it and also spread production across the entire country.
He however lamented that Ghana, which produces far less than any yam producing state in Nigeria, had taken over the European market – adding that yam consumed in the United States was imported from Ghana and a tuber cost as high as 15 dollars.
Chief Ogbeh further stated that the Nigerian yam export promotion programme was targeted at taking Nigerian yam production, processing and marketing to next level in line with what is done in other country – and emphasized the need to ensure that Nigerian agricultural produce meet the standard of foreign markets.
The Chairman of the Committee, Professor Simon Tsange, while addressing newsmen, said they have been doing underground work on the programme adding that the committee would ensure that in six months, Nigerian yam would hit the international market.