Nigeria Starts Exportation of Yam
The Federal Government through the Ministry of Agriculture is set to export 72 metric tonnes of yam to the UK and the United state today.
In what seems to be a major diversification breakthrough, the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, made the announcement yesterday that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the exportation to the United States and United Kingdom.
The Minister however said that Nigerians should not worry about shortage in supply of yam for local consumption assuring them that such will not happen.
He went on to say that “Now, we account for 61% of the total output of yams in the world, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization. The rest is shared between some countries in West Africa and the West Indies. For us to go abroad and not find Nigerian yams in the market is an embarrassment”.
He said that since Ghana is targeting $4 billion from yam exports in the next three years, Nigerians shouldn’t be lagging behind but should be thinking of surpassing that.
He also said that the government is going to provide solar coolers in yam markets and yam producing areas to keep the temperature at 14 degrees Celsius; not to freeze them but to keep them at that temperature throughout the year and can last up to two to three years in the container.
He also said that the Ministry is in talks with Walmarts, the biggest supermarket chain in the US who approached the Ministry to roast cashew nuts for them. Their demand is total 130,000 tonnes of cashew nuts which will lead to a revenue of $7 billion for the country. The government is looking to create six cashew processing factories in Nigeria which will be sited at Enugu, Imo, Benue, Kogi, Kwara and Oyo states