By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Federal Government has constituted a committee on yam export scheme in a bid to enhance the yam value chain to make it a competitive and profitable export business in Nigeria.
The technical panel, chaired by the MD/CEO SIEA Integrated Solutions, Mr Simon Irtwange, was inaugurated on Thursday by the Minister of Agriculture, Mr Audu Ogbeh, in Abuja.
According to Mr Ogbeh, the main aim of the Yam Export Programme is to take yam production, processing and marketing in Nigeria to the next level and international best practice.
The Minister noted that the scheme will bring together major stakeholders in the yam value chain in partnership with relevant organizations with a view to repositioning the subsector to take its fair share in the global export market through compliance and Good Agricultural Practices and global standard as well as profit optimally from the huge gains of yam export.
Mr Ogbeh pointed out that Nigeria has the highest production of yam globally as attested to, by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) world records, at 61.7 percent, while consisting of over 60 percent varieties of in Nigeria alone.
He, however, lamented that despite the huge production, Nigeria unfortunately was not among yam exporting nations.
He urged the committee to support private sector in terms of packaging, organizing workshops for stakeholders in the value chain as well as facilitate industry visit to Ghana where necessary.
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