Some yam farmers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have called on the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to create storage facilities in all area councils of FCT to encourage yam exportation.
The farmers made the call in an interviews with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gwagwalada on Tuesday.
The farmers said that if adequate yam storage facilities were established in all area councils, it would encourage farmers in FCT to participate in yam exportation.
Mr Ajidala Zaka, a yam farmer in Paso village in Gwagwalada, told NAN that the yam farmers had no storage facilities to preserve their produce for a long time.
“Farmers are forced to sell the yams at giveaway prices whenever they notice any sign of decay in them.
“Very large number of yams decay and are wasted due to the lack of storage facilities in the area.
“The agricultural institutes in the country should create yam storage facilities in the FCT so as to promote yam exportation in the area,” he said.
Mr Noroka Musa, a yam farmer in Kuje Area Council, also said that most yam farmers were forced to sell their yams at giveaway prices due to the lack of storage facilities.
He said: “As a yam farmer with large harvests, you are compelled to dispose of your yams on time or you face the risk of massive crop damage due to the lack of storage facilities.
“We have just started harvesting yams and the price is low due to increased supplies in the market.
“The price will later on increase and those with adequate storage facilities will benefit more at that time,” he said.
Mr Samuel Kura, another yam farmer in Abaji Area Council, appealed to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to construct yam storage facilities in the area.
According to him, there is also a need for the ministry to adopt a quality management system in order to improve the quality of yams meant for exportation.
He stressed that other countries that exported agricultural produce always put in place a quality control system, which was designed to monitor farm produce — from the seed planting stage to the crop harvesting stage — before export.
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and rural Development should take up the challenge and create yam storage facilities in order to encourage yam exportation and boost production,’’ he said.
NAN recalls that on June 29, 2017, Nigeria launched the exportation of yams to Europe and the U.S., as part of moves to diversify the economy and earn the much-needed foreign exchange. (NAN)