Perm Sec Expresses concern over Possibilities of Nigerians Importing Yam from China


Ernest Umakihe, the Permanent Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), warned that Nigerians might soon rely on imported yam from China for local consumption. Speaking at a stakeholders workshop focused on repositioning yam as an export, Umakihe expresses concern over Nigerian’s absence in the global yam export market, despite its significant production share. He emphasized the potential negative impact of Chinese yam imports on local farmers and employment opportunities. Umakihe also highlighted previous unsuccessful attempts by Nigerian states and the Ministry to venture into yam exportation.

“It was only 2017 that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture under the leadership of Chief Audu Ogbeh, then Minister, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development organised the first flag-off ceremony (of yam) with a batch of 72 tons to UK and USA. I believe these were done without proper planning before the execution. Aside the mentioned attempts, nothing has been heard of the yam export from Nigeria,” he said.

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