The Nigerian Agriculture Quarantine Service (NAQS), have released guidelines for intending yam exporters to follow to avoid encountering problems in the course of the export.
In a statement issued by NAQS, it stated the procedures and guidelines to be followed strictly by any intending exporter of yam.
According to the statement “NAQS officers provide advice on issues around sourcing, storage, processing, documentations, transport, packaging, labelling, international markets and their requirements etc”.
The statement noted “Use Nematode-free seed tubers for planting, rub any clean wound or bruised yam tuber with alkaline material such as lime or wood ash to prevent infection.
“Practice crop rotation and regular weeding apply chemicals at appropriate in dosage, harvest on time and avoid bruising yam tubers during harvest, NAQS trains selectors on the farm and ensures strict adherence to timelines”. Furthermore, NAQS said “exportable yams should have fresh color, uniform straight shape, no fingers/no sprouts/no hairs/no flakes/no cuts/no bruises and preferably of medium sizes (1.5 to 2.0kg) depending on market demand.”
On yam storage, the statement noted “clean out and fumigate collection center/yam barn and warehouses. Use only good and healthy tubers, ensure proper curing, possibly combined with fungicides.
“Ensure adequate ventilation of the storage facility. Inspect regularly, remove rotten tubers and trim off sprouts. Trimmed surface should be waxed with candle to prevent infection.
“Protect yams from direct sunlight and rain.
Yams should also be free of adhering soil, chemical residues, insect or nematodes infestation. Ensure proper packaging and labeling”
“Yams are to be kept in aforementioned conducive conditions as much as possible during haulage, preferably 15-20 degree celcius.
“Ensure that particulars of vehicle conveying the yams are correct and up to date, to avoid detention or delays by VIO, Customs, FRCN, etc because this may expose the yams to excessive heat.
“At the ports, present yam for re-evaluation and export inspection, NAQS also issues advice on shipping conditions for yam”, the statement added.