Posted by News Express | 4 November 2019 | 784 times
The Cassava Buy-Out Pilot Scheme of the Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ISOPADEC) has begun in earnest.
A release made in Owerri, Imo State, by the P.R.O of ISOPADEC, Mr. Ekeh Promise O., said the programme, which was kicked off midweek in Mgbirichi, and weekend in Umuagwo, both in Ohaji-Egbema Local Government Area of the state, recorded huge success.
Present at the communities for the cassava buyout programme were: Mrs. Chizoba Nuela Okafor (Head of Agric Department ISOPADEC), and Dr. Chidi Nwadiaro, the Education Adviser to the Managing Director.
Other advisers, in addition to the staff of ISOPADEC from the Agric Department, were: Barr. Thaddeus Oloko (S.A. Youths Affairs), Mr. Bassey Basil (S.A. Security), Kathleen Obiora (S.A. Women and Gender Affairs), Jeff Uwakwe (S.A. Health), Barr. Ujuaku Udom (S.A. Legal), Mr. Nwapa (S.A. Finance), Saviour Okoro (S.A. ICT), Mr. Okwuosha (S.A. Admin), and Arc. Kingsley Anyiwo (S.A. Project).
Mrs. Paulina Dike, from Amakohia Mgbirichi, representing those who made sales to ISOPADEC, most of whom were women, said: “We are very happy how you people came to buy out from us our labour. It is good to see government come this far, remembering women. This is the first time we saw this.
“All this period that ISOPADEC said they would do this for us, we were not taking them serious, reason being that in the past, they would talk, but would not do.”
She added: “When next you people come, you would see that the amount of cassava you would see here would overwhelm you. What I am asking on behalf of the women is for you to see that that this project is sustained.”
The Managing Director of the Commission, Engr. Owuoma Anthony Okwuosha, said that the programme would be carried out in all the communities in Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta local government areas.
He assured that the programme would boost food sufficiency, stimulate economic activities while creating employment opportunities in the communities.
He explained that the cassava would be processed into edible and non-edible starch, cassava flour, fertilisers, ethanol and cassava feed.
The Managing Director charged the youths of Imo oil bearing communities to form groups and acquire lands of about 3 to 5 hectares, while the Commission partners them for agricultural activities. He asked them to leverage on the skill acquisition programs of the Commission, for example, the ICT training, Furniture and Fittings, Welding, online marketing of the agro produce, etc, bearing in mind that the Rebuild Imo government intends to develop the capacity of the people of the area for socioeconomic development.
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