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Recognise Yams, Ministry Urges

Recognise Yams, Ministry Urges
Yam display at the Northern Agriculture Show yesterday. Photo: Peni Drauna
July 09
08:56 2015

The importance of yams was stressed during the Northern Agriculture Show at Subrail Park in Labasa this week.

The Ministry of Agriculture has highlighted yam cultivation to farmers and its importance to the country’s food security and export market.

Principal Agriculture Officer North John Cox said yams were not given their rightful priority like cassava, dalo, ginger and vegetables.

Hence, there was a need to showcase yams across the country to ensure that its value was not lost.

“In addition to food security, yams also played a role in nutrition and climate change adaptations because of the longer shelf life and value adding,” Mr Cox said.

He added it was important for our farmers to understand the significance of this crop for its high nutritional value which could a substitute of potatoes in local dishes.

“Yam planting has been held in high regard as it can adapt to temperate conditions.

“It is the fourth most important root and tuber crop in the world lagging behind potato, cassava and sweet potatoes.”

He noted that the ministry’s Koronivia Research Station played an important role in identifying the yam varieties.

It can also be identified as an export commodity and has a potential in value-adding.

Yams take at least six months to harvest depending on the variety.

Farmer Jamuna Prasad said yams have been a source of income for the family as well.

“Most of the time I use yams instead of potatoes as this is more healthy and it comes from my very own farm,” Mr Prasad said.

At the Labasa market, a heap of yam cost between $15 to $25.

Feedback: peni.drauna@fijisun.com.fj

 

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