Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, has said the Federal Government is strategising to surpass Ghana in the export of yam to Europe and other continents.
The minister said this when he received the Technical Committee on Nigeria Yam Export Programme in Abuja.
Ogbeh said the programme to be flagged off on June 29, would enable the country earn foreign exchange from agricultural produce in order to substitute the oil and gas sector.
According to him, Ghana is exporting yams but we are not, yet we account for 61 per cent of the world yam production.
“This programme has to succeed; we must sell whatever we produce to the world because we are buying too much. We allowed ourselves to be deceived.
“I saw the figures of Ghana’s earning from yam export and their targets for the future and it was quite impressive.
“If Ghana can aim at a few billion dollars a year from yams, there is no reason why Nigeria cannot quadruple that.
“I want this committee to begin to engage team of engineers anywhere in the world. Can we design a plough that can make the yam heap?
“We have to mechanise heap making otherwise, in the next five years, because of our aging farmers, you will find out that we do not have yams again and we will get into fresh troubles,’’ he said.
Accodring to him, the federal government is targeting about eight billion dollars as annual foreign exchange from the exportation of yams to other countries, if its yam export programme succeeds.
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