Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Exporting Yam Tubers ( Yam Tubers Product Profiles )


a.     Description: The major edible species of yam of African origin are white Guinea yam (D. rotundata Poir.), yellow Guinea yam (D. cayenensis Lam.), and trifoliate or bitter yam (D. dumetorum Kunth). Edible species from Asia include water or greater yam (D. alata L.), and lesser yam (D. esculenta[Lour.] Burkill). Cush-cush yam (D. trifida L.) originated from the Americas. White Guinea yam and water yam are the most important in terms of cultivation and use.

Yam is grown in about 51 countries in the tropics and subtropics, with yields averaging about 11 metric tonnes/hectare in the major producing countries of West Africa (Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Bénin).
“There are different types of yam tubers produced in Nigeria, such as water yam, cocoyam and yellow yam; but the ones needed for exportation are the sweet and poundable ones

b.     Trade volume: According to statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, an estimated 48.7 million tonnes of yam were produced worldwide in 2005, with sub-Saharan Africa accounting for 97 per cent of this figure. In Nigeria alone, export earnings from yams hit N56bn in 2008, up from N37bn realised in 2007 and about N70bn was realized from yam export last year. In 2008 the World production of yam was 51.4 million tonnes per year out of which Nigeria accounts for an average of 36.7 million tonnes, Ghana for 3.6 million tonnes and Cote d'Ivoire for 4.8 million tonnes. The figures underpinned the socio-economic importance of yams. Farmers have constantly affirmed that yam cultivation is a veritable source of income. According to statistics, average daily consumption per capita of yams is highest in Bénin (364 kcal), Côte d‘Ivoire (342 kcal), Ghana (296 kcal), and Nigeria (258 kcal).

c.     Harvest: In many parts of West African yam zone, mature yams are harvested at the end of the rainy season or early part of the dry season, which coincides with the end of vegetative growth. Yams for long-term storage (for marketing or seed) are usually harvested during the harmattan period (Dec-Jan) in many parts of southeastern Nigeria when the crops have attained maximum growth and maturity.

d.     Locations: Today, Oorelope and Irepo LGAs of Oyo north are in the lexicon of yam producing communities in Nigeria, contesting for prominence as yam growing spots with Zaki Biam in Benue State and other communities in Nassarawa State. The major states of the Federation where yam tubers are being produced in large quantities and wasted are Benue, Sokoto, Abia, Anambra, Delta, Edo, Enugu, Ebonyi, Niger, Taraba, Osun, Oyo and Plateau

e.     Specifications: Yam specification varies from one buyer to the other in terms of weight, length and diameter. Generally exportable yam should have the following characteristics.
      i.        Diameter-  3.5-4.5cm
     ii.        Length- 15-40cm
    iii.        No hair (No fibers)
    iv.        No fingers (branches)
     v.        Very smooth body with no sand (if at all it should be very minimal)
    vi.        No injury (if at all it should be very minimal)
   vii.        Not too big (enough for a family to eat at once)

f.      Uses: Fresh yam tubers are peeled, chipped, dried, and milled into flour that is used in preparing dough called amala (Nigeria) or telibowo (Bénin). Commercial products based on dry flakes or flours from the tuber are produced in Nigeria, Ghana, and Côte d‘Ivoire for export and sale in urban areas. Yam tubers can be conveniently processed into yam floor and yam chips & pellets.

The consumption of yam flour cuts across cultural, religious and demographic boundaries. It is a cherished delicacy when served in the form of "Samolina" or "Samovita", with well prepared soup.

Apart from serving as food, it has a lot of industrial uses. It is used in production of all-purpose-adhesives. The adhesives are used by producers of cartons, packaging companies and lather and shoe producers. The all-purpose adhesives is produced with yam or cassava starch.

Some industries particularly in Europe use yam flour in preparation of high quality biscuits, bread, cakes to mention but few. In Nigeria also, it is used in production of high quality bread and cakes.

The yam chips and pellets can also play the same function as cassava chips & pellets in production of livestock feeds. Yam Starch has a lot of industrial uses.

g.     Export market: The major export market for yams from West Africa include Europe (England in particular) and the United States of America.

h.     Export Price: sold in pallets at the rate of USD130-150 per pallet. ( a pallet contains about 40 tubers and it weighs about 25kg each ). Therefore the export price per tuber will be USD3.25-3.75 FOB Lagos.

i.      Local price: The local price per tuber ranges from NGN100-200.

j.      Packaging and Freighting: Storing yams in modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) has beneficial effects, particularly using appropriate packaging material with suitable size and number of holes for gas permeation. Sealing yam tubers in polyethylene film bags reduced storage losses due to weight loss and development of necrotic tissue. Notwithstanding cultivar differences, fresh yam tuber can be successfully stored in ambient and refrigerated conditions. The recommended storage temperature is in the range 12°-16°C. Optimum conditions of 15°C or 16°C at 70-80% rh or 70% rh have been recommended for cured tubers. Transit and storage life of 6-7 months can be achieved under these conditions.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sesame Seed Product Profile

Description: Sesame seeds (or sesamum or benniseed) are the seeds of the tropical annual Sesamum indicum. The species has a long history of cultivation, mostly for its yield of oil. The original area of domestication of sesame is obscure but it seems likely to have first been brought into cultivation in Asia or India.
The plant is usually 60 to 120cm tall and the fruit is a dehiscent capsule held close to the stem. When ripe, the capsule shatters to release a number of small seeds. The seeds are protected by a fibrous ‘hull’ or skin, which may be whitish to brown or black depending on the variety. 1000 seeds weigh some 4-8g. The seeds have a high oil content of 44-60%.

Harvest: Harvesting begins in late December and continues through July. Each producing area stated in the next section below (Locations) has only one season.

Locations: The major producing areas in order of priority are Nasarawa, Jigawa and Benue States. Other important areas of production are found in Yobe, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Gombe and Plateau States. The major marketing centers (towns and states) of sesame seeds in Nigeria.                 
Types/Varieties: There are 3 types of sesame (and these include: White, Black and Brown/Mixed sesame seeds). However only two of these are majorly produced in Nigeria and these includes;
1. White/raw = Food-grade used in bakery industry. 98-100% whitest grade seeds.
2. Brown/mixed = primarily oil-grade.
The White (Food Grade) seed is grown around the towns of Keffi, Lafia/Makurdi, Doma, and in Nassarawa, Taraba, and Benue States. It is easier to sort and the Fumani/Denin people consume sesame locally. The Brown/mixed grows in the North, in Kano State and in Jigawa State near Hadejia, and somewhat in the southern part of Katsina State.

% percentage
Oil content
45-60% min
Free fatty acid (FFA)
Moisture content
6-9% max
Uses: Most sesame is processed directly into oil by the grower or within the producing region, but can also be sold in various stages of processing, for various uses, such as meal, paste, confections, and bakery products.

Description and Uses
Fried seeds may be bound together with sugar syrup to give sweetmeats.
The whole seeds can be baked into biscuits.
(Hulled) seeds
Popular in northern Europe either incorporated into breads or as decorative toppings. May be used hulled or whole.
Seeds, sometimes roasted
Particularly used in oriental cuisine. The flavor is quite strong and rarely compatible with traditional Western style cooking but also used as a salad oil.
Medicinal treatment
Ulcers and burns
Once an important use, now other cheaper vegetable oils are available
Reported use as a synergist for pyrethrum sprays
Low grade oil
Soaps paints, lubricants, and illuminants. Local uses, of no importance in international trade
Hulled seeds
A paste of sesame seeds which is used as an ingredient in eastern Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods
Dips &spreads
Various ingredients, such as chickpeas or eggplants, are added to Tahini to make dips and spreads such as hummus
A sweet made from Tahini and sugar with other added flavorings
Animal feed
Protein rich useful supplement
Cake from hulled seeds
Used in some Indian cooking. Also as a snack in, for example, the Nigerian Kulikuli
Export market: The major importer of sesame seeds in the world is Japan while the major consuming markets in the EU are Greece, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. In the past, the bulk of sesame was imported from China. Increasingly, other sources such as India, Sudan and, most recently, Pakistan, are taking the market share. The USA is the fifth largest import market with a steady demand for over 50,000 tonnes per year.

Export Price: The export free on board price of sesame seed varies from USD 900 -1400/MT depending on the type and form of the sesame seed and the negotiation made with the buyers.

Local price: local price per metric tonne MT of sesame seed varies from NGN80,000.00 during the peak season to about NGN120,000.00 at the off season. However local price when delivered EXW Lagos (delivered in Lagos) could range from NGN 130,000 – 160,000.00.

Sesame Seeds Profitability & Cost Profiles