Exporters of yam gave a press interview refuting the news claims by the Africa Independent Television (AIT) purporting that yams exported after the official flag-off ceremony of June 29, 2017, were rejected at their various export destinations.
Although the exporters admitted the case of tuber spoilage, they said the spoilt yams were separated from the good ones and only the good ones were successfully cleared and distributed to the buyers.
It could be recalled that on Thursday, June 29, 2017, FMARD flagged-off the yam export programme at Ijora, Lagos.
The Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh stressed the need to start exporting because in ten years’ time, oil and gas will fail Nigeria and there may not be any means of earning foreign exchange.
He said the underlying factor for beginning the yam exportation programme was due to the fact that Ghana contributes 11% to total yam production earns 94% of global yam export trade while Nigeria, whose yam production figure stands between 65% and 75% have not been earning from yam exportation for years.
Each of the 72 metric tonnes yams would be sold in the US for $15 and it’s expected to generate $10 billion as foreign exchange annually for Nigeria.
Mr. Michael Adedipe of ADES-UK Foods and Drinks, whose story was used as a basis for the two hours yam rejection report by AIT has openly refuted the story.
He also did not deny speaking with AIT on the issue but he said the positive aspect of the story was removed and that his comments were mishandled by the AIT reporter.