Nigeria has been ranked as the largest producer of yam by Food and Agricultural Organization, FAO, as the country produces about 60% of the the product globally.
The Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Dr. Mohammed Umar 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.
Mr Bello, who was represented by the Director of Agriculture, Engr. Frank Satumari Kudla, noted that though Nigeria produces about 64% of Yam, it is not among the Comity of Yam Exporting Nations owing to lack of quality seeds of improved varieties and efficient seed production.
Mr Bello, said that, IITA, under it’s, YIIFSWA, programme saw the need to develop High Ratio multiplication technologies, i.e. 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.
He also appreciated the activities of, YIIFSWA, in Benue, Niger, Nasarawa, Oyo, Enugu States and FCT which he said has led to the use of clean planting materials by some farmers in those areas.
In his remark, the Commissioner of Agriculture, Enugu State, Idu Mathew, who was represented by Director, Technical Resources, Onuze Benjamin, said that “every country that export 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 opportunity of the workshop to add value to what we have in the country.