Audu Ogbeh, minister of agriculture, says the US rejected yam exports from Nigeria because of their poor quality.
In June, Nigeria exported yams to China, United Kingdom and US as part of efforts to reduce dependence on oil and increase income from the agricultural sector.
Despite laying claim to not less than 60% of the world’s yam production, Nigeria does not rank amongst the world’s highest exporters of the crop.
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Customs Service, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) were charged with the responsibility of ensuring that yams exported were properly checked and certified.
Others are Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC).
Ogbeh vowed to investigate both the exporting company and officials of the ministry’s department of quarantine for allowing “such substandard good to leave the shores of the country”.
“Some consignment of yams were exported from Nigeria to the United States and according to reports we have today, they were found to be of poor quality,” he said.
“We will be investigating both the company that exported it and our quarantine department to check and find out why such a consignment left here.”