Agric Minister Audu Ogbeh has said the government will not back down on the yam export policy no matter what setback the commodity faces now as a forex earner.
He said this during a sensitisation walk in commemoration of the World Food Day in Abuja on Tuesday.
The minister said that the setback would not deter the dealers of the produce from exporting it, pointing out that the current world market for yams was worth $12 billion.
Nigeria is the highest producer of yams in the world.
“I read some news report 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.
“It happens to yams from Ghana as well. We will not stop the policy of the exportation of yam. I can assure you that.
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“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; 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,’’ he said.
The initiative was flagged off on June 29 and the consignment exported to the U.S. recently was rejected.
The exporters include Messrs Wan-Nyikwagh Farms Nig. Ltd, Gboko, Nigeria and Oklanbest Limited, Ibadan, Nigeria.
Many believe lack of refrigerated container and the long time the produce stay before its arrival to Europe or America occasioned the rejection.