Yam Farmers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria says it has commenced the registration of its members in the 36 states of the federation to facilitate the yam export programme.
Prof. Simon Irtwange, the Acting President of the association, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.
Irtwange, who is also the Chairman, Technical Committee on Nigeria Yam Export Programme, said the registration was to organise yam farmers across the country to actualise the targets of the export programme. “We are registering yam farmers, yam processors, yam marketers.
“At the corporate level, we are registering corporate organisations that are doing yam farming, corporate yam farmers, yam exporters, yam off-takers, yam aggregators and affiliate cooperatives.”
“Registration has commenced all over the country.”
“So, that process is on-going now; it is after we have registered that all these training in collaboration with IITA can commence effectively.’’
He advised yam farmers across the country to form and join cooperatives societies to facilitate export of their produce.
According to him, a container of yam is about 12,000 tubers and if you have 12,000 to 14,000 tubers as a cooperative, you can export a container.
Irtwange said that the committee would assist any farmers’ cooperative society by giving them the templates and requirements to avoid rejection of their produce at the international market. “Whatever we are doing at the level of the technical committee, we are doing for the benefit of the yam association.”
“We are creating that environment for them to be able to export their yams.”
“They should farm as much as possible; we are here to ensure that they get the best price for their farm work.” “They will get premium price for the export quality yam they are going to sell.”
“So we have to develop the market in such a way that there are people over there in other countries that will be ready to off-take from our people here who are also ready to export.”
“We want to build exporter-off-taker relationship.’’
Irtwange appealed to the Federal Government to establish more modern yam conditioning centres to aid storage before export.