Abia community donates land to LIFE-ND project

Abia community donates land to LIFE-ND project
By Raymond Benson
To ensure its major objectives of job creation, food surplus and sustainable income, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, (IFAD), has, through, Abia State Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises Niger Delta, (LIFE-ND), Project, received a piece of land.
The land was donated by Isiala Orratta for the construction of cassava processing mill cluster in their community.
LIFE-ND State Coordinator, Dr Uchenna Onyeizu, signing the MoU.
The land donation ceremony which was well-attended by community leaders had the representatives of the two parties sign the memorandum of understanding, (MoU).
Speaking at the ceremony, a community leader, Chief Chidi Ihuka, lauded the presence of IFAD in his community.
 He said that the Project had successfully cleared every doubt he had about previous government projects.
Continuing, he said that the facility, not only have the potentials of creating job opportunities for idle youths, but also ease the age-long burden of processing cassava, the major staple food in the community.
Responding, the Abia State LIFE-ND Coordinator, Uchenna Rowland Onyeizu, Ph.D, explained that the facility is a mechanised 3-ton cassava processing mill cluster with multiple capacity of producing other cassava-related value chains.
He said that it was not only limited to garri and odourless fufu, (starchy cassava food chain), but also extended to starch, flour and cassava flakes, amongst others.
He advised the community to completely have ownership of the facility, especially in security and maintenance, adding that the beneficiaries, who are also their children, had been selected.
“IFAD does not fail in their promises. We’ve already selected incubatees from this community. We’ll equip the facility to function effectively.
“It’s expected that you take charge in managing the place. You’ll no longer have issues in cassava processing in this community. IFAD will be willing to support you in marketing your products in international community,” he said.
The State Rural Infrastructure Officer, Engr Chukwumaobi Otutubuike, explained that the 3-ton cassava processing mill cluster is designed to have a crèche, for baby-sitting and breastfeeding mothers, a recreational television outfit, washing platform, industrial presser, seiver, dryer machines and industrial borehole.
 He said that IFAD was determined to live a durable legacy to the rural people of Urratta community.
The community Vice Chairman, Mr. Israel Dennis said that land donated to the project was not a “scam” but a reality, promising that the outcome would be “fruitful” for all.
One of the beneficiaries, Ifeanyi Simeon while narrating the suffering of the community in cassava processing, said he was eager to see this happen in his community.
Okwoko Nkporo Community in Ohafia Local Government Area had on July 5, 2022, donated 20 hectares of land for cassava production.
Abia LIFE-ND had initial challenge of land donation due to land tenure system of Igbo tribe of the Eastern Nigeria.
 However, successes of the LIFE-ND project has currently changed the narrative.