THE National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI),Wednesday in Abuja, said Nigeria accounts for over 70 per cent of yams produced in the world.
Dr Nnamdi Eke-Okoro , Director/HOD, Crop Research Operations Department , NRCRI, stated this in a presentation at a stakeholders’ workshop in Abuja on Wednesday, on Repositioning Yam as an Export Crop.
He said that Nigeria is the leading producer of yam, cassava and sweet potato with 34, 59, and 30 metric tonnes.
“Development of improved varieties is over 50 for cassava, 30 for yam and 5 for sweet potato. Nigeria accounts for over 70 per cent of yams produced in the world,” he said.
He said to move into global standard, there must be collaboration between the ports authority and other stakeholders in the country.
” NRCRI can collaborate with other agencies to speedy up yam export chain and to reduce the level of rejections of our products abroad.
Eke-Okoro said the importance of NRCRI in yam export chain could not be over emphasised.
According to the researcher, foreign markets are yearning for yams and are gradually expanding their scopes.
Nwankwo said that there must be good agronomic practices for sustenance and acceptance to reposition yam as an export crop.
He said the institute has advanced laboratories equipped with latest state of the art for determination of food quality traits, physic-chemical analysis, nutrient testing, among others.
” NRCRI has all it takes in terms of manpower, equipment and technical know-how to be in the front line for yam export,” he said.
He said that strong participation in yam export chain is very important, adding that NRCRI must be a strong participant in yam export chain in Nigeria.
” Policies on yam export must not exclude the role of NRCRI, it has all it takes in terms of manpower, equipment and technical know-how to be in the front line for yam export,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NRCRI conducts research into the genetic improvement, production, processing, utilization among others. (NAN).