The YIIFSWA project has launched the Federal Capital Territory Yam Development Forum (YDF) on Thursday 12 December, bringing key stakeholders across the yam value chain to a common platform with a view to enhancing the fortunes of yam farmers. The establishment of YDF builds on YIIFSWA’s community outreach that was held in August 2013, involving yam farmers and stakeholders in all the six local government areas.
In his opening speech, YIIFSWA Project Manager, Dr Norbert Maroya pointed out the importance of yam and Nigeria’s role as the world highest producer of yam. He said that it was paramount for research to improve yam productivity despite its challenges to ensure food security in Africa and assured farmers and other stakeholder of YIIFSWA’s support.
FOSCA Lead Coordinator, Mr Fadel Ndiame commended the effort of the FCT yam farmers for being the first YDF to be formally inaugurated and encouraged them to improve the yam value chain in Nigeria and West Africa at large.
During his goodwill remarks, the FCT Director of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Abubakar Sani Pai called for concerted action from various partners to join hands in empowering farmers through the promising YDF. He said that the MDGs Unit of the FCT would support in postharvest technology to improve yam storage and marketing.
The Council Secretary, Mr Usman Yahaya inaugurated the 12-member committee and expressed his appreciation for the YDF initiative.
In his acceptance speech, the Chairman of the FCT YDF, Alhaji Yahaya Garba Gigbe on behalf of his team, thanked the participants for the confidence reposed in them and indicated their readiness to lead a productive YDF that would facilitate constructive discussions to move the yam trade forward in the FCT and beyond.
In attendance also were the representatives of the ADP Executive Director, FOSCA’s Lead Coordinator and Objective 2 Leader, Mr Fadel Ndiame, YIIFSWA Seed Specialist and Objective 3 leader, Dr Beatrice Aighewi, and NRI representative of Objective 4, Dr Louise Abayomi.