There would soon be more varieties of yam tubers in Nigerian markets, as the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), has again, launched a new development through its Yam Improvement Programme (YIP). IITA, has in the last five years, collaborated with the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), to develop and release nine yam varieties. NRCRI is a research institute that sees into the genetic improvement, production, processing, storage utilisation and socio-economies of root and tuber crops of economic importance in Nigeria.
The distribution of the newly-released yam varieties kicked off recently, as part of the Institute’s efforts to help farmers have access to clean and improved seeds. According to a report on its website, IITA said it launched the pilot phase of the distribution process in four Nigerian states of Nasarawa, Niger, Osun, Oyo, and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. IITA stated that the varieties would address some of the challenges faced by yam farmers in the country, such as decline in production, low yields, poor quality of planting material, weak resilience to climate change, as well as high cost of production.