Exporting Yam from Nigeria

Yam exportation is predicated on the ethnic taste of immigrants. The world has become a global village with immigrants from different countries resident in foreign lands.

They bring along their local cuisine and are eager to pay premium price for local food stuffs. This has seen an unprecedented rise in commodity imports to advanced countries.
Yam is a favorite food for many Africans living in the Diasporas. Top consumers of yam and yam products are Nigerians, Ghanaian and Liberians.
Major export locations are United States of America, United Kingdom, Belgium and France. For astute investors exporting yam from Nigeria is a highly lucrative venture.
This is because yam is abundant in Nigeria despite poor farming techniques and low level of mechanization. The high dollar to naira rate is another major attraction for commodity merchants.
yam tubers
Yam Product Description
West Africa has a large amount of yam produced yearly. Although there are over 600 species only a few are consumed in the continent.
Nigeria despite being the major producer and consumer of the commodity the level of export activity is dismally low. This is due to sharp practices by exporters, contaminated yam and poor shipment and handling.
Despite producing 68% of world yam production, Ghana is currently the number one exporter of the commodity. This achievement is based on strict and rigorous compliance to regulations, inspection, quality and certification.
Major Yam Producers in Nigeria
If you are serious thinking of starting a yam exportation business you need to source the product. The good news is that the crop grows in most areas of Nigeria.
However, the major producers of the crop are found in Nassarawa state, Oyo state and Benue state accounting for 50% of total production. Other states heavily involved in the production of yam include Plateau, Osun, Niger and Taraba.
More producers of the crop are Ebonyi, Enugu, Edo, Delta, Anambra, Sokoto and Abia state.
Yam Export Documentation
The main setback for Nigerian exporters is poor documentation. The yam tubers are also contaminated through the use of chemical pesticides, poor handling and storage.
The yam tubers might be infected with insects and other contaminants. Exporters face lots of bureaucracy which is strictly enforced to get the best products. International markets worry about effect on local fauna and type of packaging.
To start a commodity export company you need to incorporate the business. Register the business as a limited liability company. You need liability insurance and other tax related registration.
Secure a letter of credit and complete NXP forms. You need a Performa invoice and NEPC registration certificate. Make sure your legal considerations accommodate pre and post-exportation documentation. It is also important to carry out a SWOT analysis test.
Why Yam Exports are Rejected
Rejection of exported yam is commonplace especially when they fail basic requirements. Sometimes storage and handling of the product causes contamination.
Other reasons include rodent contamination, insect contamination, insecticides and type of fertilizer used during the farming process. More challengers are packaging and proper labeling of the commodity.
Before exporting your yam from Nigeria approach the relevant authorities to carry out a comprehensive inspection of the produce. You also need all the relevant documentation and permits.
Find Buyers
The main challenge is finding buyers for your product. You can approach government agencies for lists of potential buyers. You could try online resources, yellow pages and directories.
Funding
Source your funds through an agricultural bank or export trade bank. Other ways to source funds are through personal savings, friends and family. You could seek investors or take on a partner.
Transportation
Yam products are very heavy so you need transportation. Hire the truck to carry the commodity from the farm to your warehouse. You also need transportation to the airport or sea port.


image- CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15402

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