The Federal Government Tuesday directed the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) to investigate the cause of rejection of consignment of exported yams from Nigeria to the United States.
Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, who gave the directive during a sensitisation walk to mark the 2017 World Food Day, said: “I read some news reports about some yams arriving in Britain and being rejected. They stayed so long en route and if they stay that long, they are bound to rot.”
Ogbeh explained why exported yams were rotten, which was due to long distance before arriving at its destination in the United States of America, USA.
He said the government and exporters would not be deterred by comments people are making over the issue, rather will continue with the policy as the country being the largest producer of the commodity in the world cannot be left out in the $12 billion global market for yam.
“It is a policy that will stay because we are the largest producers of yams in the world. We produce 67 per cent of the yams. We will continue to help exporters and we will not as an institute export yams. We only support the private sector to do that and if there are problems, we will solve them.”
According to him, “Even Ghana, which has been the largest exporter of yam in the continent, has similar challenges. It happens to yams from Ghana as well. We will not stop the policy of the exportation of yam. I can assure you that,” he stated.