The Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises-Niger Delta (LIFE-ND) Project in Umuahia, Abia state on Monday began a 2-day agronomic training for incubatees and incubators involved in the LIFE-ND Project.
Speaking to Candidreporters.com about the project was the State Project Coordinator, (SPC) Dr Uchenna Rowland Onyeizu. He explained that the project observed serious gap in terms of knowledge among the incubators, incubatees and those in the community. So it became necessary to involve experts to educate them.
In his words: “we thought it wise to involve an agronomic expert or specialist to train our incubators and incubatees on best agronomic practices to enable us have higher yield.”
Dr Onyeizu in his wisdom disclosed that the project is concerned about the commercial aspect of cassava production which prompted the need for contracting experts to tutor on the commercial aspect of the project.
Dr Onyeizu revealed that the communites involved in the cassava production are Umuode Ihie and Ubaha Nsulu Umunna, both in Isialangwa north local government area.
“In the two communities we are currently working on, Umuode gave us fifteen hectares of land, we are also struggling to get that of Nsulsu, but the government of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu in it’s wisdom gave a land owned by the state’s ministry of youths and sports, it is about fifteen hectares of land and it is what we planned using to empower members of the community”. Dr Onyeizu added.
The agronomic expert for the training, Dr Adeyemi Olojede, who is a cassava system expert in an interview with candidreporters.com revealed that he is on ground for best agronomics Cassava production. He also hinted that the purpose of the 2-day training was for the fact that cassava farming in modern times is no longer for subsistence.
In his words: “Farming is more or less for business. The farmers need to be taught better ways of seeing farming as a business. In this program, we a going to take the farmers through best agronomic practices so that they can maximize the use, we are exposing them to business up keep of records in their farm operation. Since it is known that this project is involves giving loans to the incubatees, this training is very important.”
Sandra Uloma Nzemecha, of Ubaha Nsulu Umunna community in Isialangwa north local government area, who is one of the incubatees on cassava production training spoke on the importance of the tutorial.
“I never knew that there exist a different type of cassava apart from 419, there is this yellowish type of cassava they taught us now with a sample. Before now, I thought cassava is all about white colour and when prepared, it still maintains that colour. They taught us how to plant, where to plant and how to detect the faulty ones. I just got to know that pharmacists uses cassava for drug production. I learnt so many things.” Uloma said.
Eluwa Clement Obioma from Umuode Ihie in Isiala Ngwa North local government area also spoke about the training.
“I just learn that I have been applying too much herbicide on my farm, from this training I have learnt about the appropriate amount I am to apply. I learnt that there are different varieties of cassava and other ways of profiting on cassava such as the root production and the stem production.” Eluwa said.
Eluwa however applauded the project initiators and the state government for the innovation.
“I really appreciate the state government for the project intervention and Abia LIFE-ND for organizing such training. I have learnt a lot as a beneficiary and I will still go out there and teach others what I have learnt.” Eluwa 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.