Mr Adewale Ajadi, the Country Director, Synergos Development Innovations, on Friday said that yam exports to the U.S. and Britain in June recorded 90 per cent and 50 per cent success respectively.
Ajadi said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
Synergos, a global non-profit organisation, is providing cooling and conditioning facilities for yams that are to be exported so as to ensure that they are in good condition to meet international market requirements.
Ajadi stressed that the rate of success of the yam exports was commendable, taking into consideration that Nigeria had never ventured into yam exportation, prior to this time.
“At least 80 per cent to 90 per cent success was recorded for the yam consignment that got to the U.S., while it was 50 per cent for the yam consignment that got to Britain.
“Yes, the 50 per-cent success rate showed there were some problems with the yam consignment to Britain, and the spoilt yam tubers were separated from the good ones.
“That, however, does not mean that the yam export was a failure, as the major cause of the problem was the delay encountered in conveying the yams.
“The yam export is private sector-driven and not a government venture; so the mistake has been noted and will be corrected in subsequent exports,’’ he said.
Ajadi said that nobody expected everything to be perfect in the first attempt to export yam, adding that even Ghana, which had been exporting yam for quite a while, also incurred similar losses.
He said that there was always room for improvement, once investors were ready to invest more on yam exports.
Ajadi said that the little effort at ensuring yam exports showed that investors believed in what they were doing.
He added that if properly harnessed, yam exports would be the nation’s cash cow, as the market price per tuber in Britain signified that yam exportation was a potential money spinner.
NAN recalls that the Federal Government launched the yam exports at Lilypond Container Terminal in Lagos in June with about 19 tonnes of yam packed in cartons. (NAN)