The Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), on Wednesday in Abuja said fresh yam tubers selected for export should be fully matured before exporting the produce.
Dr Shakiru Kazeem, the Deputy Comptroller of Quarantine, NAQS, made this known in a presentation at a stakeholders’ workshop in Abuja, on Repositioning Yam as an Export Crop.
He said the fresh yams selected should be clean – no soil root hairs, flakes/bruise pesticide residues among others, fresh colour, fairly straight shape and medium sizes (1.5 to 2.0kg).
Kazeem said that it was imperative that set standard for exportable crops were followed.
“The set standard for exportable crops including yam is necessary to be followed by stakeholders in order to raise the quality of yam export to internationally acceptable level,” she said.
He said that to advance the yam business, there should be availability of arable land in Nigeria for yam production, availability of labour force, and government’s support for agro-commodity export.
Kazeem said there should be market availability for export of yam, yam suppliers and farmers.
He explained that Ghana’s yam procedure include uniformity (same variety and sizes), firm and free from obvious defects, smooth and fairly straight among others.
Kazeem said that yam could be exported in both processed and unprocessed (tuber) forms.
He equally urged the stakeholders to form co-operative groups to work together.
Kazeem said to reposition yam as an export crop, stakeholders should identify potential farmers and suppliers for exports able yam production.
He also urged them to develop a communal processing plant where agricultural commodities could be processed for a fee.
The quarantine officer, who said “agriculture is business’’, urged yam stakeholders in the yam value chain to understand and comply with the regulations concerning export.
Kazeem, therefore, called on yam stakeholders to approach the NAQS on any agricultural export issues.
He said there were procedures and certain requirements to meet before yam or other commodities could be exported.
“The service is present in all entry points in Nigeria, anyone traveling with any agricultural commodity must pass through NAQS procedures.
“Fresh yam tuber should be fully matured, that is what we are looking at, it should be stored properly even in a local way, we don’t mind as long as it is not spoiled. It should also be packaged very well.
“Yam can be exported in both processed and unprocessed (tuber) form,” he said.
NAQS urged all stakeholders to partner with it to ensure yam for export met international standards.
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