The Permanent Secretary of Abia State Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Charles Chukwudi Agbara and his monitoring team paid a courtesy visit to the management and staff of the Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises-Niger Delta (LIFE-ND) in Umuahia.
Speaking to candidreporters.com, Mr. Agbara said the purpose of the visit was part of the necessity needed by the parastatals under the ministry he supervises.
In his words: The purpose of the visit is for us to get acquainted with the parastatals under the ministry of Agriculture, we have gone to fadama, yesterday we were at Agriculture Development Project (ADP) and today we decided to visit Abia LIFE-ND.”
” We want to know what actually they do, their strength and opportunities available here, also the challenges and threat which is the reason I decided to visit these parastatals in other to get first hand knowledge of their activities and challenges for the purpose of synergy between us. Over the years there hasn’t been that synergy between the parent ministry and these parastatals. We want to synergize to feel the pulse of each other” . Mr Charles Chukwudi added.
Dr Uchenna Rowland Onyeizu while addressing the visitors, he highlighted the project mission of Abia LIFE-ND, the challenges and success story.
Dr Onyeizu revealed that the project is designed to focus on 100 communities and so far they are working on 50 communities, noting that incubators (trainers), incubatees(trainees) and women headed household is were the project pegs to operate and revolve.
Dr Onyeizu also notified that they had challenges in sourcing land for the project while he applauded the intervention of the state governor, Dr Okezie Victor Ikpeazu in terms of land acquisition and also ensuring that Abia state was the first to pay the counterpart found which aided the project attraction to the state.
While responding to the speech of Dr Onyeizu, the Abia state Director of Agriculture, Emuchay Thelma Oluchi (Mrs) suggested for data and information sharing between the ministry and Abia LIFE-ND. She also added that both arms can train their staff and work out modalities for land acquisition in some communities in the state.
Meanwhile, the desk officer Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme( AADS), Abia Poultry Cluster, Udensi Johnson Ibe, questioned why the ministry wasn’t aligned with Abia LIFE-ND for the project execution. He however applauded the project design of Abia LIFE-ND as explained by Dr Onyeizu.
Dr Onyeizu in his response suggested that a committee should be formed by both parties to spot out areas of possible synergy.
Speaking about the outcome of the visit, Mr Chukwudi expressed satisfaction on the reception and promise of Dr Onyeizu, the State Project Coordinator of Abia LIFE-ND.
“Dr Onyeizu has made some promises and I know he will fufil depending on the availability of fund, I know he will do something and on our part as a ministry, we are also willing to assist where necessary.” Charles Chukwudi Agbara added.
The LIFE-ND Project is being funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development(IFAD). The project is ongoing in the nine Niger-Delta States.
Also involved in the project is the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, The Federal Ministry of Finance, budget and National Planning, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the United Nations.