As the quantity of yam produced in Nigeria drops, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has said Ghana is now leading Nigeria in yam exportation.
Dr. Nobert Maroya, Project Manager, Yam Improvement for Income and Food Security in West Africa disclosed this during the IITA’s scientists meeting in Ibadan, recently.
Maroya stated that the project had developed high ratio propagation technologies such as: vine cuttings, aeroponics and bioreactor to address the constraints of quality and multiplication in seed yam production.
He told participants that for Nigeria to profit from the huge financial gains in yam export, it must develop efficient seed production, distribution and quality assurance system. These, he stressed, were the steps taken by Japan and Ghana, which eventually place them ahead of Nigeria, among yam exporting nations.
He words: “In Japan, beer and spirit are extracted from yam. Japan is now producing yam by using vine, which the farmers plant with machine. With the way they are going, they will soon become the biggest producer of yam, even though it originated from Nigeria, and other parts of Africa,” he stated.
Maroya noted that Ghana yam exporters have a committee that determine the quality and quantity of yam meant for export. He noticed that though, Nigeria started yam exportation long before Ghana, its yam produce was rejected on the grounds of low quality.
He thereafter emphasized that the main objective of the IITA is to help increase the quality of the produce; insisting there must be quality control in each stage of yam production.
Culled from Agro Nigeria