The Federal government on Wednesday said the yams that were reportedly rejected were the United Kingdom were not certified by the Nigerian Agriculture Quarantine Service (NAQS) before it was exported.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, the Coordinating Director of NAQS, Dr Vincent Isegbe, said the exporter exported yams to U.K without getting certification from the Quarantine Service.
It will be recalled that recently, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, flagged off the exportation yam to the United Kingdom in Lagos State.
Meanwhile there were media reports that the yams exported to the United States were rejected, but the Dr Isegbe said the yams sent to United States were not rejected, instead the yams exported to United Kingdom were rejected because they decayed before getting to its destination.
He said the yams that were exported to the United States which passed through the inspection and certification NAQS were not rejected.
Dr Isegbe however explained that the yams were not actually rejected in the UK, but because it took the yams months before it got to UK, which eventually led to the yams decaying before getting to its destination.
“The exporter to US agreed and went through Quarantine inspection and certification, the exporter to the U.K by the time we start the inspection, the next morning we didn’t see his cargo, so we did not inspect his cargo”, he said
He explained that cargo was not available for us to inspect as at the time we did for the one for US consignment, that was the reason why the consignment was delayed in the UK for three weeks because there was no Quarantine clearance.
“The story is that a Nigerian exporting yam to the United Kingdom, the video shown that at that point, the yams have gotten worse, the man clearly mentioned that when he put the yam in the container, it took about a week before it was put into the ship, and the shipping line did not carry the consignment to the UK until after 3 months, so naturally, yam being what it is could not survive such carriage and it ended up being bad, so it is just a logistics issue with the person that shipped the yam for him”, Dr Isegbe noted.
Advising potential exporters of yam, Dr Isegbe said “for yam, we do not advice you to go the open market to buy yam to export, it is not advisable, you need Quarantine guidance, once you come to Quarantine we sit down with you, we interview you and guide you properly and give you the guideline so that you can go home with it.
“If somebody wants to export, the first point of call is the market before thinking of getting the yam to supply to the market, if you have the market, then you know where the commodities are going to, so you approach the NAQS and tell them the location the yam is going because in the phyto-Sanitary certificate for any agricultural product, the exporter with the destination will have to be quoted in the certificate, then we will now tell you how to get the correct commodity to export”.
News Credit: Tribune Newspaper