The Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises-Niger Delta (LIFE-ND) Project in Umuahia, Abia state on Thursday held a 2-Day training for cassava production incubatees from Ohambele in Ukwa-East Local Government Area of Abia State.
According to Dr Uchenna Rowland Onyeizu, the State Project Coordinator, SPC, the project is striving hard to meet its target which was said to be imperative to step up the number of incubatees which has been increased by 10.
In his words; “In Ohanbele community, we have been able to get 30 hectares of land for cassava production. The direct beneficiaries are the ones undergoing training. The normal thing we do, when we get incubatees and incubators, we subject them to Orientation training.
“By the end of the two-day training, we will know that both the incubatees and incubators must have acquired good skills” Dr Onyeizu said.
Dr Onyeizu also added that the project is applying the best agronomic practices in LIFE-ND activities and also to do away with the old method of cassava farming which doesn’t give the best agric implementation and idea.
As for the challenges, Dr Onyeizu also revealed that there are some setbacks the project has experienced. A major setbacks was the clash of interest in terms of land donation in the communities which got a prompt response from the state government with the support of 200 hectares of land out of which 30 hectares is been cultivated at Ohambele in Ukwa-East Local Government area of the state through the Abia state ministry of Agriculture.
A critical observation by candidreporters.com shows that experts were consulted for the training to extend ideas on the best agronomic practice for cassava production.
Dr Adeyemi Olojede, a cassava agronomist and LIFE-ND consultant for the training told newsmen that his role is to provide technical support for cassava production across the various location of the project’s field activities, sourcing of inputs, supervision of field preparation, production in field, planting, employment of agronomic activities and conducting of trainings for best cassava production for incubatees.
Dr Adeyemi in his advice to the participants said “this is a rear opportunity to have access to such agricultural information out of several millions of people looking for such opportunity.
In terms of using Agriculture for National development, Dr Adeyemi said “only if round peg is fixed in square holes. Nigeria will get it right by creating an enabling environment, then, Agriculture will play a significant role in Nigeria’s economy”.
According to Mr Chukwuekezie Godwin, the state Agric Business Promotion Officer of Abia LIFE-ND, the participants of the training were selected after due process.
“They are chosen to work in 30 hectares of land developed at Ohambele, adjacent to Abia palm. Each of them is entitled to 3 hectares of land. They are here to be trained on best agricultural practices that will enhance production at maximal level.They are part of our mandate so that they can speak into that aspect of production”. Chukwuekezie said.
One of the participants of the Event, Michael Favour from Ohambele, Ukwa east Local Government Area of Abia State spoken to newsmen about the impact of the training.
“Since the training began, I have learnt a lot such as the proper way to plant, harvest and process cassava. I have also learnt about types of chemicals, and the proper way to apply them on farm land. I thank Abia LIFE-ND for this opportunity and I promise to put to practice all I have learnt from this training”.
Mr Paul Nna from Ohambele also thanked Abia LIFE-ND and Abia State government for the opportunity. He said he has learnt how to cultivate cassava, how to make the land fertile and how to identify various species of cassava. He also promised to be productive and teach others aspiring to venture into agro business.
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.