Yams were first domesticated by African farmers 7,000 years ago. Today, 48.1 million tons of yams are produced annually across 4.4 million hectares of land in West Africa’s “Yam Belt”—which extends from Cote D’Ivoire to Nigeria, representing over 90 percent of the global production.

Yam provides the most important source of dietary calories in Nigeria and Ghana. And for many people in the region, it is ranked third above meat as a source of protein. Many believe that it is important for food security as mainstay of for at least 60 million people and income generation.