The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), has ranked Nigeria as one of the World’s largest producers of Yam with about 60 per cent of the Global production of the product, the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Dr Mohammed Bello has said.
Dr Bello, disclosed this in Abuja at the National Awareness Workshop on Yam, organized by the Advocacy and Resource Mobilization Team (ARMT) of Yam Improvement for Income and Food Security in West Africa (YIIFSWA), an initiative of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).
The Permanent Secretary who was represented by the Director of Agriculture in the Ministry, Engr Frank Satumari Kudla, noted that though Nigeria produces about 64 per cent of Yam in the world, it is not among the Comity of Yam Exporting Nations owing to lack of quality seeds of improved varieties and efficient seed production.
He said that (IITA) under it’s (YIIFSWA) programme saw the need to develop High Ratio multiplication technologies such as seed multiplication system that is sustainable and capable of producing high-quality yam seeds at an affordable price to Farmers with high yielding potentials.
The Permanent Secretary also pointed out that, the current practice in Yam Seed production is at a Ratio of 1.1 within 12 Months but that the new technology will produce a 1.300 Ratio within six Months.
In his remark, the Commissioner of Agriculture, Enugu State, Idu Mathew, who was represented by Director Technical Resources, Mr Onuze Benjamin, said that “every country that exports its raw commodity, exports it’s Labour and every other thing that is good to the country.”
He further stated that the Nigeria National Agricultural Council is making effort to ensure that all export products undergo the normal necessary value chain in addition to processing before export, adding that all farmers should take the opportunity of the workshop to add value to what we have in the country.
The focal person (ARMT) and (YIIFWA) Nigeria Team, Dr Pepetua Iyere-Usiahon, said one of the things that brought about the YIIFWA programme is food security and if not well addressed, the populace would do what is expected of them.