Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, says the country will on June 29, export 72 tonnes of yam to Europe and the United States of America (USA).
A statement by Dr Olukayode Oyeleye, the Special Assistant to the minister (Media), in Abuja on Thursday, said Ogbeh disclosed this at a meeting with members of the Committee on Nigeria Yam Export Programme.
The minister said the flag off of the yam export would be done at the Apapa Port and would be exported in three containers at 24 tonnes each.
According to him, one container will be exported to the United Kingdom while the other two will be taken to the U.S. The minister appealed to the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) to reduce inspection charges on export produce to encourage more exporters and enable the country become competitive in the export market.
“To make yam competitive, we will work on the packages and the right types of trucks to be used for transportation of the produce. “Oil and gas cannot employ millions of people just like agriculture so, we must work hard to move from oil to earning foreign exchange from agriculture,’’ he said.
The Chairman of the committee, Prof. Simon Irtwange, said they were working with the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) to commence the process of the export. An exporter, Mrs Elizabeth Nwankwo, the Chief Executive Officer of Oklan Best Limited, the move would help to rebrand the image of the nation and acceptability of the country’s produce at the international market.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the committee was inaugurated in February to facilitate the acquisition of warehouses at the receiving destinations, address markets in Europe and Canada.
It will also sensitize farmers and exporters on required international standards of yam before exportation. The committee is made up of representatives from the Nigerian Customs Service, Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), among others. (NAN)