The Federal Government is planning to export processed yam products to Britain, the United States of America (USA) and the European Union (EU).
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, disclosed this in Lagos, yesterday and said exportation of fresh yam tubers has already started.
“The target markets are millions of Africans, especially Nigerians in the diaspora, who want to buy and eat fresh yam.
“For those who will prefer yam flour and pounded yam, the ministry has identified five companies to process yam tubers into those products.
“We will get the UK certified standards for the exportation of those yam value chains.
“We will also put in our own checks and balances to ensure that every export meets the set standard.
“This is to ensure that the processed products are not rejected, once we start to export,’’ he said.
Ogbeh also disclosed that Nigeria is under great pressure to export roasted cashew nuts to Japan and all categories of beans and sesame seeds, among others, to India.
He identified lack of organisation and planning as the bane of the nation’s agricultural exports potential.
The minister, however, said the ministry is working with relevant agencies to facilitate exportation activities in the agriculture sector.
Ogbeh said the ministry is putting modalities in place to ensure that all agricultural products for export meet the highest global standards and added that the ministry has been sensitising the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to the salient processes involved in the export of agricultural produce and its processed products.
He urged Nigerians to support the Federal Government in its efforts to create jobs, wealth and make the citizenry happy.
The minister assured citizens that nascent yam exports would not, in any way, affect local consumption and noted that most of the yams produced in the country often rot away before harvest of new ones.
Ogbeh, nonetheless, underscored the need for youths to engage in farming, to boost the country’s agricultural production and enable it to meet the emerging demands in the new frontier of crop exportation and assured them that government would provide enabling environment that would facilitate agricultural production.