By Raymond Benson(KMCO), Abia LIFE-ND.
In sustenance of food security in the Niger Delta region, the Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises, Niger Delta on March 31, 2022, performed a land breaking ceremony of 15 hectares of rice production in Uzuitem Umuobasi Ukwu, Bende Local Government Area of the state.
Representing the Autonomous Community, the Town Union Vice President General, Comrade Iroham Sunday Kalu who spoke on behalf of the Traditional Ruler, His Royal Majesty, Eze John Akaniro promised adequate security throughout the duration of the project. He further expressed happiness over the identification of his community for such large scale of production that would give employment opportunities to teeming idle youths.
Handing over the 15 hectares of land to LIFE-ND, he said,
“This place is called Akor Umubasi Ukwu River Basin. It’s over 50 hectares of land. After the development of this 15 hectares, we promise to extend the donation if you so desire.
” Having reached out to the Community and its entirety, including the Royal Majesty, Eze John Akaniro, and with the powers invested on me by the community, that’s why am here to make sure we join hands in synergy with LIFE-ND to make sure that this agricultural development is sustained in our community.”
He advised LIFE-ND to maximise the benefits of the river running through the donated land for other agricultural commodities.
Representing Abia LIFE-ND Project Coordinator, Uchenna, the State Rural Infrastructural Officer, Engineer Otutubuike Chukwumaobi, emphasized the importance of the day, noting that the Memorandum of Understanding had been signed while promising that the flag off would immediately be followed by land clearing and development, for the massive rice production in the state.
Emphasing the impact of LIFE-ND, one of the community leaders who also doubles as oil palm processing incubator, Ejikeme Nlewedim, said he was delighted in another inclusion of his community in such magnitude of rice production.
When contacted, the Project Coordinator, Uchenna Rowland Onyeizu, Ph.D, bemoaned the non availability of enough land in the state for similar projects. He explained that the 15 hectares of land had been acquired and surveyed and enjoined the community to provide adequate security for the investment.
According to the Coordinator,
” Once we observe those guarantees, we’ll expand our activities to even providing or renovating thier markets, providing other infrastructure like earth roads, borehole and all the infrastructure that’ll ensure sustainable agribusiness.”
He said the river that runs between the landscape of the donated land would enhance all season round of vegetable production to support nutrition mainstreaming for the families, which is a sub-component of the project.
The Managing Director of Matoson Technical Services, Mr. Osundu Dickson, promised to deliver the project according to the specification of IFAD standard.
Abia LIFE-ND has such similar massive projects of 15 and 30 hectares of cassava production in Nsulu, Isiala Ngwa South and Ohanbele, Ukwa East respectively.