Nigeria earns ₦70b from yam exports in 2009

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council has said that over N70bn was realised from the exportation of yams in 2009.

The General Manager (South-West), NEPC, Mrs. Osibo Omowunmi, made this known in an interview the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Monday.

She said that the N70bn export value was higher than the N56bn recorded in 2008.

Omowunmi said that the increase was achieved through the vigorous efforts of the council aimed at sensitising the citizens to the economic benefits derivable from the export of yam and other non-oil products.

She said that Nigeria was the largest world producer of yam, followed by Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Benin Republic.

She put the world production of yam at over 51.4 million tonnes, saying that Nigeria currently produced about 38.7 million tonnes; Ghana, 3.6 million; while Cote d’ Ivoire produced 4.8 million tonnes.

Omowunmi said that yam exports in Nigeria were primarily handled by the informal sector, compared with countries like Ghana and Cote d’ Ivoire that had advanced marketing channels and dominated the international market.

She said that the Federal Government was striving to ensure that Nigerian yams occupied a crucial position in the international market.

Omowunmi said that yam had a great investment potential at the international market, in view of its huge demand by people of African origin all over the world.

She said that one of the goals of the NEPC was to reduce the quantity of yam tubers being wasted for seeds, while increasing production.

She said that the council had sensitised farmers and exporters to new procedures in selecting, propagating and processing yams to meet international standards.

“NEPC has conducted several training for stakeholders on farm best practices, packaging and labelling,” she added.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Institute of Tropical Agriculture has developed a new technique of propagating yam through vine cuttings with carbonised rice husks as the growth medium.

IITA recently obtained huge funds for yam research to boost its production.

Source: The Punch

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