The technical committee on Nigeria Yam Export Programme is working with the University of Agriculture, Umudike and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to produce seed yams for export.
The committee was charged with the responsibilities of finding markets for Nigerian yams in the world and providing market information on weekly prices of yam at the major marketing centres abroad.
Prof. Simon Irtwang, the programmes’ chairman told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the seed yams would be given to farmers to plant them specifically for export.
“One of the challenges with the flag-off of yams exported in June 2017 was that the yams were exposed to the sun before being selected for export.
“Once yams are exposed in the sun for long, the process of decaying sets in gradually.
“With special seed yams, the structures to have a good quality of seed yams for export will be set in motion.
“This will help and ensure that future yam exports withstands the temperatures of all the countries the yams will be sent to,’’ he said.
Irtwang said that the technical committee would consider the post-harvest handling of yams for export to ensure they meet international standard.
He, however, added that not all yams were good enough for export.
“There are some species and varieties of yams that are good for export and in the open market; the yams are always separated from each other.
Irtwang said that yam exporters have to be familiar with the processes of handling as well as the other varieties and species not good for export.