Nigeria at Risk of Yam Imports from China

Taiwo Ajayi
2 Min Read
Yam market

The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Ernest Umakihe, has raised concerns that Nigeria may soon be importing yam for local consumption from China.

Speaking at a stakeholders workshop on repositioning yam as an export crop, Umakihe highlighted Nigeria’s absence in the global yam export market, despite accounting for 67% of global yam output.

Umakihe expressed worry over the possibility of Chinese yam flooding the Nigerian market, citing Nigerians’ preference for imported goods.


He warned that this trend could lead to increased unemployment and reduced income for local yam farmers.

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Umakihe recounted Nigeria’s previous attempts at yam export, noting that Nasarawa State Government made the first attempt in 2009, followed by Oyo State, but without much success.

He also mentioned the Ministry’s 2017 attempt to revive yam export, which he described as poorly handled.

He emphasized the need for proper planning and execution in yam export initiatives, pointing out that the 2017 export to the UK and USA, organized by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture under the leadership of Chief Audu Ogbeh, lacked adequate planning.

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The workshop, themed ‘Prospects and Challenges of Yam Export in Nigeria’, aimed to address the shortcomings of previous export attempts and explore strategies to promote successful yam exportation from Nigeria.

Umakihe urged Nigerians to identify past mistakes and work towards finding solutions to enhance the country’s yam export potential.

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