According to him, “We also encourage other countries to emulate Ghana, by developing similar strategies that give clear direction on how to make the crop work for the poor and improve their economies.”
Indigenous to Africa, yam is a major staple contributing to food security and incomes, and also plays a significant role in the culture of the people.
The strategy has been designed and developed to provide a holistic approach to sector development by considering both the economic and social value of yam in Ghana. “The methodology used combines IITA’s experience in agriculture research-and-development with ITC’s practice of participatory mechanisms and market-led planning for policy, enterprise, and sector development,” said Hernan Manson, ITC Adviser for Value Chain Development, and Antonio Lopez-Montes, IITA Yam Breeder.
Perlin Gunesoglu, Chairperson for the Turkish-Ghanaian Business Council for DeIk (the Turkish Foreign Economic Relations Board), observed that the strategy provided a platform for transforming the yam sector into a vibrant industry beyond but not excluding food security.
According to her, “The work being done in Ghana for yam is very valuable and can serve as an example for other countries trying to develop their sector looking at commercial as well as social objectives.”
Perlin pointed out that apart from yam as food, the crop can also be used in many different industries including food, paper, textiles, and adhesives, through value addition.
But to achieve a high level of value addition, she emphasized the need for support from the government on each step of the strategy, starting with farming and collection of yam genetic resources.