Nigeria accounts for over  70% of yams produced in the world and is also a leading producer of cassava and sweet potato. 

This was disclosed by the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) on Wednesday in Abuja 

Director/HOD, of Crop Research Operations Department Dr. Nnamdi Eke-Okoro, disclosed this in a workshop towards repositioning Yam as an Export Crop. 

Global producer: He noted that Nigeria is the leading producer of yam, cassava and sweet potato with 34, 59, and 30 metric tonnes, and urged the move into global standard, must come with collaboration between the ports authority and other stakeholders in the country. 

  • “Development of improved varieties is over 50 for cassava, 30 for yam and 5 for sweet potato. Nigeria accounts for over  70% of yams produced in the world,” he said. 
  • ” 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-emphasized, citing the rising demand for yam products globally. 

They added the institute is  equipped with the latest state of the art for determination of food quality traits,, saying: 

  • ” NRCRI has all it takes in terms of manpower, equipment, and technical know-how to be in the front line for yam export 
  • ” 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. 

In case you missed it 

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) disclosed in its latest Foreign Trade Statistics Report that superior-quality cocoa beans topped Nigeria’s agricultural exports in the fourth quarter of 2022.  

The report stated that the export of agricultural products was dominated by superior quality cocoa beans valued at N74.65 billion, followed by sesamum seeds valued at N38.56 billion and standard quality cocoa beans valued at N14.16 billion.  

Cashew nuts in shell, other frozen shrimps and prawns, flowers/flower buds as well as natural cocoa butter and shelled cashew nuts. All these products earned between N4 billion and N6 billion.   

Agricultural products that earned less than N4 billion include – crushed or ground ginger, frozen rock lobster and other sea crawfish, frozen lobsters, ginger (not crushed or ground), crude shea oil, groundnuts in shells used for manufacturing oil, other quality cocoa beans, flour and powder of cassava roots or tubers, plants used in the perfumery, pharmacy or insecticidal, and palm nuts/kernels.   

Total trade in agricultural products: According to the report, the value of total trade in agricultural goods in Q4 2022 stood at N615.42 billion. Meanwhile, exports were valued at N170.59 billion during the period highlighted. 

 Agricultural product exports increased by 102.59% from the Q3 2022 value of ₦84.21 billion and by 28.54% from the Q4 2021 value of ₦132.71 billion.