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July 05, 2010

Nigeria exports yams to UK

Nasarawa State government has exported over 118 metric tonnes of yam to the United Kingdom (UK) under the trademark, PEPA Yam. The state, which began the exportation late last year, is billed to export 50 metric tonnes of the yam to UK this month (June).

The Governor, Aliyu Akwe Doma, who disclosed this while inspecting the level of work done at the yam conditioning centre in Keffi, said the concept of the centre had been expanded to accommodate more agricultural products.

Doma said, "The initial idea was to start with (the conditioning of) yams and sweet potatoes but now the concept has been expanded to include other agricultural products like vegetables, fish; any aspect of agricultural products can also be conditioned at the centre."

The governor pointed out that work slowed down on the construction of the centre, which is the first of its kind in the country "to enable the Federal Government to come up with a national policy for the initiative." He added, "Now that this has been done work will commence to complete the project, explaining that technically the project was not stalled due to lack of funds but to avoid mistakes that would have a negative effect on the project.

On whether the delay would not hamper the exportation of yams to UK, Doma said, "It will not hamper the continuity of shipment of our yam (PEPA Yam) to UK", and that government has made alternative arrangements that would ensure it continues to meet the needs of the UK market, stressing, "so far, so good."

Doma also said though plans were underway to meet the needs of other markets in Europe, it does not wish to rush into other markets but would move gradually.

The governor also disclosed that government was embarking on the construction of another conditioning centre in Lafia, the state capital, through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement between the private sector, the federal and state governments. Doma, however, said that the details had not yet been worked out but that as soon as they were worked out work would also commence on the centre.

AllAfrica.com

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