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Nigeria Striving To Be World’s Top Yam Exporter – Ogbeh



By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh has pledged support for yam producers, saying the country is pushing to become the number one exporter of the commodity in the world. He made the allusion recently at the end of the meeting with the technical committee on Nigerian Yam Export Programme.
The minister had said “beginning from next week, Nigeria will export 72 metric tonnes of yam to the United Kingdom and the United States in three containers. The consignment would be exported via Apapa Port. Assuring the exporters of government’s support, Ogbeh said Nigeria accounts for 60 per cent of global yam production.
“We must sell all whatever we can to the world. We account for over 60 per cent of yam production, yet people do not know that we grow yam,” Ogbeh said. Because attention has been paid more on importation, he said Nigeria, unlike Ivory Coast, does not have export terminal. He said while Ghana’s projection on yam export is impressive, Nigeria can comfortably quadruple that if it keeps pushing to become number one in yam export.
Expressing optimism that Nigeria would soon take a prime position in yam export, the minister asked the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) to reduce the inspection charges so that it can be competitive in the export market. To make yam export competitive, he vowed to work on the packages and the right types of trucks to be used for transportation.
He also tasked the yam export committee on mechanised heap making. He underscored his quest against the backdrop that “we have to mechanise heap making. Otherwise, in five years, you will not find people to do heap making.” While giving assurance of government support, he said the prototype may be costly, but government will fund it, adding to stay ahead of the crisis that will definitely come the problem must be anticipated.

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  1. augustine akinyemi

    June 28, 2017 at 10:29 am

    The improvement recorded in agricultural production in the last 6 years has been quite commendable but the statement credited to the Minister of Agriculture shows the very big disconnect between our leaders and the people. Audu Ogbeh happens to be one of the youngest Ministers this country produced and he don’t seem to have an idea what the ordinary Nigerian really wants. Why the crave for export to feed the world when we Nigerians have not fed comfortably? Just like OBJ was shouting for Cassava export to China when there was already shortage of Garri in the market. Audu Ogbeh should liase with the common man to solve the common-man’s problem: the common-man’s problem is NOT F/X but cheap food on the table. And this can be achieved by facing the reality of the Nigerian situation in areas of
    1/ fertilizer distributon 2/ farmers co-operation and 3/ transportation of harvested crops. Of the 3 mentioned, the government should focus on how to reduce transportation cost. A very effective but initially expensive approach is for govt. to own their own trucks instead of patronizing private truck dealers to move products across the nation. Government can reach agreement with manufacturers of trucks to supply trucks payable over certain number of years. Hopefully, this piece is NOT to be regarded as a criticism of the good job the Ministry is doing.

    • MUkintu

      June 28, 2017 at 3:42 pm

      There is nothing wrong from conducting an export drive. Perhaps that could lure more farmers into the trade.Yam is one of the most expensive Nigerian foods sold in the United States. A good tuber of yam here in Boston can go as much as $15. I am not guessing it is what l have been paying. You will need at least 2 for a full meal.
      It is much cheaper in the UK where you can buy 2 tubers of yam for as little as 3 pounds.. It should be understood that those who consume yam outside Nigeria are also Nigerians.Nigerians must look inwards as right now they have no other choice.

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