The Abia state coordinating office of the livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise Niger-Delta (LIFE-ND) on Tuesday received the supervising team of the agro project on a scheduled 2-day supervision tour on the agro empowerment programe in the state.
The project’s evaluating team was made up of members representing the federal government, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and LIFE-ND national team.
The Abia state commissioner for Agriculture, Prof. Ikechi Mgbeoji, was also present during the visit. He applauded the agro project’s initiative and expressed confidence in the leadership of Dr. Rowland Onyeizu while also assuring the visitors of their safety as they tour the state for the project’s assessment.
The supervising team was led by George Polenakis of IFAD alongside experts from Nigeria, East Africa and representatives of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Finance, and the NDDC.
As part of the activities lined up for the tour, a visit was paid to governor Okezie Ikpeazu, the executive governor of Abia state at the governor’s lodge in Aba.
The National Project coordinator, Engr. Sanni Abiodun in his speech disclosed that the team is monitoring all it’s states partners, he expressed satisfaction on the level of support they have received from Abia State.
Engr. Abiodun called on the Federal Government to emulate the great support the Abia state has given to IFAD programes and urged the state not to relent.
George Polenakis extolled the complementary role of Governor Ikpeazu’s administration to realize the aims of the programe in the state and encouraged him to ensure continued payment of the state’s counterpart fund.
The governor in his speech during the visit said his administration will continue to demonstrate commitment through the payment of counterpart funds to development agencies considering its great benefits to Abians.
Governor Ikpeazu also lauded the efforts of the Abia State Project Coordinator of LIFE-ND, Dr. Uchenna Rowland Onyeizu and his team for the commitment in delivering the project.
On the assessment tour to the project’s facilities, beneficiaries and activities in the state, the first point of assessment was a visit to Munis Chukws Global Farm Limited, one of LIFE-ND’ incubation centers in Ubakala local government area of Abia state.
At Munis Chukwus Farm Limited, the mission team was received by the CEO of the farm, Mrs. Monica Ukasayan, and the beneficiaries posted to the incubation center for training. Mrs. Monica took the supervising team round the farm facilities and gave detailed explanation of best poultry farming practices as well as the LIFE-ND nutrition mainstreaming programe evident in her farm. The team also took time to ask her questions on how she manages the incubatees posted to her farm and the best practice in poultry production.
A poultry pen built for Emmanuel Chinagorom, a physical challenged graduate incubatee at Obingwa local government area of the state was the second point of visit by the mission team.
Emmanuel who was trained on poultry production and empowered by LIFE-ND couldn’t hold back his joy when the team arrived his community. While interacting with the supervising team, Emmanuel explained the professional practice of the poultry business and also responded to all investigative questions fed by the supervising team.
In his response to the questions asked on his challenges in coping with the business due to his physical disability as well as the message for those who are also physically challenged in his community, and are interested in the agro training project, he revealed that he has taught his mother the poultry business as she is now of assistance to him. He also added that some people who are physically challenged in his community are interested to be trained. In his words of advice to the physically challenged, he admonished them not to relent in been consistent in all they want to be in life or joke with any opportunity given to them. He thanked the LIFE-ND team for seeing him worthy to be empowered. He promised to continue to do his best with the training acquired from the project and also train others.
The team also visited LIFE-ND combine battery cage poultry farm cited at Abayi-Ohanze community in Obingwa local government area where they were welcomed by the women in the community who danced and sang to the admiration and entertainment of the supervising team. In a speech by the leader of the women, she said they trooped out en masse to welcome the visitors to show appreciation of the project’s intervention in their community which has seen to the empowerment of their children. They also promised to approach the elders of the community to offer more land for the project’s intervention to uplift their children.
Nkpuruoma Agro Services, an oil palm incubation centre at Ubakala, Umuahia south local government area of Abia state was also visited.
The team was taken round the facilities of the oil palm production centre by Lady Elizabeth Uhuagbu, the CEO of Nkpuruoma Agro Services. She gave a detailed explanation on her she operates and manages her oil palm firm. One of the incubatees, Ifeanyi Onyeocha, took the monitoring team round the oil palm production facilities and explained the various stages of oil palm production and processing. The mission team filed in questions on his training on the oil palm production business which Ifeanyi responded accordingly.
After the tour to the facilities and visits to the beneficiaries of the project, the team in their various assessment remark expressed satisfaction on the level of work done and applauded the team work of Abia LIFE-ND staff.
The Abia LIFE-ND project coordinator Dr. Onyeizu while noting all commendation, observations and recommendations from the mission team, he thanked them for taking the pains to tour the project’s activities in Abia and wished them safe journey to Cross River state were their tour continues.
The LIFE-ND project is currently training fresh batch of beneficiaries of the project in various approved communities in Abia state.
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 are the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, The Federal Ministry of Finance, budget and National Planning, and the United Nations.