The Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Dr Mohammed Bello disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday at the National Awareness Workshop on Yam, organized by the Advocacy and Resource Mobilization Team (ARMT) of Yam Improvement for Income and Food Security in West Africa (YIIFSWA), an initiative of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).
The Permanent Secretary who was represented by the Director of Agriculture in the Ministry, Engr Frank Satumari Kudla, regretted that even though Nigeria produces about 64 per cent of yam in the world, it is not among the comity of yam exporting nations due to lack of quality seeds of improved varieties and efficient seed production.
He said IITA under it’s YIIFSWA programme saw the need to develop high ratio multiplication technologies such as seed multiplication system that is sustainable and capable of producing high-quality yam seeds at an affordable price to farmers with high yielding potentials.
According to him, the current practice in yam seed production is at a ratio of 1.1 within 12 months but that the new technology will produce a 1.300 ratio within six months.
In his remark, the Commissioner of Agriculture, Enugu State, Idu Mathew, who was represented by Director Technical Resources, Mr Onuze Benjamin, said that “every country that exports its raw commodity, exports it’s Labour and every other thing that is good to the country.”
The focal person ARMT and YIIFSWA Nigeria Team, Dr Pepetua Iyere-Usiahon, said one of the things that brought about the YIIFWA programme is food security and if not well addressed, the populace would do what is expected of them.