The National Association of Yam Farmers, Processors, and Marketers on Thursday urged the federal government to sign trade agreements with European Union (EU) to secure duty-free yam export to Europe.
The association in conjunction with the technical committee on Nigeria yam export programme, stated this in a communique released after a 4-day Learning/Study Tour by Nigeria yam stakeholders to Ghana.
The communique was signed by Simon Irtwange, the association’s president and national coordinator, Nigeria Technical Committee on Yam Export Programme.
According to the communique, Ghana has signed relevant trade agreements with EU which makes it possible for Ghana’s yam exporters to export to Europe and United Kingdom duty-free.
‘‘The tour is to enable Nigeria have a good knowledge of standards, structures and systems put in place by Ghana that led to its success story in yam production, storage, processing, packaging and export.
‘‘This is to enhance the development and growth of the Nigeria yam commodity sub-sector to ensure that yam becomes a major export commodity and contributes substantially to foreign earning of the government.
‘‘The trade agreements required for duty free yam export to Europe are, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and provisional application of the European Union Free Trade Agreement (EUFTA).
‘‘Armed with this trade agreement, Ghana is exporting Yam duty-free to Europe,’’ it said.
The communiqué said that Nigeria export to UK attracted 9.5 Euros per 100 kg at present.
It called on the Federal Government to assist yam and value added products exporters with export finances through NEXIM Bank and other funding agencies.
The communique said that the yam exporters needed assistance in one-off production of cartons/ boxes and purchase of two cold trucks to support transportation and export logistics.
It said there should also be pre-export incentives for yam exporters to secure a warehouse to serve as National Yam Export Pack House.