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Farmers call for investment in seed yam production

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Abuja – The Yam Farmers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria has appealed to the Federal Government to invest in seed yam production.

Prof. Simon Irtwange, President of the Association, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday, that an estimated 500 million seed yam were lost to herdsmen attacks in 2018.

Gbolahan Folarin, Chief Agronomist at PS Nutrac measures the growth of a young yam plant on June 5, 2018, in Wasinmi, near Abeokuta.
PS Nutrac Int. Ltd is an agriculture venture in Nigeria that aims to lead the agriculture industry into the future through utilising new aeroponics technologies and growing methods to address efficiency in food production, security, research and development. / AFP PHOTO

Irtwange said that seed yam business was a N4.01 trillion investment, adding that the current production level of seed companies would not cater for seed yam requirement of farmers.

“Farmers lost an estimated 500 million seed yams, so we need urgent interventions from the seed companies to make those seed yams available.

“That is why the seed companies are very important because farmers in North Central lost their seed yams.

“There is a seed yam gap right now in the north central that has to be solved by the seed companies.

“The companies are working but they need some funding support to be able to scale up their production.

“The seed yam business is a N4.01 trillion business and to scale up production, a lot of investments need to be made.

“The companies are being supported by IITA but their level of production will not be enough to cater for the seed yam requirements in Nigeria.

“There is need for massive infusion of funds into seed yam production.

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“We are saying that the government should prioritise yam,’’ he explained.

He said the committee was currently working with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to produce the Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) document for yam and other agricultural produce.

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Irtwange, who is also the Chairman, Technical Committee on Nigeria Yam Export, said the document would be used for the training of farmers across the country. (NAN)

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