The President, National Association of Yam Farmers, Processors and Marketers, Prof. Simon Irtwange, on Friday said that the Benue State Yam Processing Plant would help to diversify yam produce into many products.
Irtwange said this in an interview with the New Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
According to him, the plant will serve as off-takers to yam farmers and process them into yam flour for local consumption and export.
He said that the association planned to diversify yam into many uses, apart from being a food crop.
“The Benue Yam Processing plant is owned by the Benue State Government and has capacity to produce 60 metric tonnes per day.
“That capacity can even take a lot of yam produce from the farmers.
“At Ieast, we can have yam flour enough for local consumption, export and industrial uses.
“There are different ways yams can be used apart from as food crops where it is boiled, fried or pounded,’’ he said.
Irtwange said that yam could be used as grey starch in pharmaceutical companies, or made into yam fries, as in French fries from potatoes.
He said that that the country needed more yam Processing plants, especially in yam producing areas, to also serve as off-takers of yam produce from farmers.
Irtwange said that there were many different uses of yam which the association would work on to improve the economic prospects of its members.
He said that yam could also be used as biodegradable packaging materials, only that for now, it would be very costly to do that.
Irtwange, however, added that more research was needed to make the packaging material less expensive.