The Chairman, National Association of Yam Farmers, Processors and Marketers in Oyo State, Chief GbemisadeAdeniyi, says there is huge profit in yam farming business.
Adeniyi made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan.
He said 500 by 500 meters’ size of farmland could yield 50,000 tubers of yam, valued at N10 million (50,000 dollars) at one dollar per yam.
“For example, people come from all over Nigeria to buy our yams in Kisi, Igboho, Igbeti and Saki area in Oke Ogun, at least three trailer load of yams every day in Obada market, Kisi.
“The good thing is that many who buy also export, it has been a successful business for me as I have been able to build my own hotel in addition to other benefits,” he said.
Adeniyi, however, said that the COVID-19 pandemic has a negative effect on farmers as most of the labourers they use could not travel from their place (Benin Republic) to Nigeria.
He said the farmers also faced the challenge of insufficient capital, lack of incentives, the required education on yam farming and constraint in transportation of products to urban areas due to bad roads.
He urged government at all levels to help tackle the challenges, support farmers training on modern farm technologies and provide storage facilities.
“In our little way, we train farmers on good agronomy practice in yam production and let them know that yam is a global profiting commodity.
“We also go for trainings at IITA, the mode of planting yams they teach really helps a lot as we engage in them. When the farmers are supported adequately, it will help to produce more, thereby reducing the high cost of yams in market.
“The time for selling and bringing yams to the market has passed for those of us here, so it brings high demand and eventual hike in price.
“We are planting now, our harvest starts from November to February and we believe the high cost of yams will reduce by then.
“We will surely produce to meet the demand, reduce scarcity and high cost if we receive adequate support,” Adeniyi said.