BY SUNNY A. DAVID
Orumba North and South Council Areas have taken their turn of the pre-season step down training organized by the FG/IFAD VCDP for farmers across the eight participating Council Areas of Anambra State.
The step down training, which took place at Ajali, Orumba North Council Headquarters, attracted cluster leaders and Extension Agents from the two Council Areas.
Our correspondent reports that while addressing the participants, the State Programme Coordinator, FGN/IFAD VCDP, Mr. Nnamdi Agwuncha announced that they will commence the disbursement of farm inputs to benefiting farmers next week.
Mr. Agwuncha, represented by the State Agric Production Officer, Mr. Emmanuel Chukwukwelu, who described the exercise as an annual ritual, explained that due to the economic effects of COVID-19, Anambra State under the FGN/IFAD VCDP received inputs for only six hundred and ten hectares of Rice and Cassava farms out of which, the newly joined council areas will take eighty to ninety percent.
He however charged them to listen attentively, garner more knowledge on the best agronomic practices in Rice and Cassava farming and most importantly further step down the knowledge garnered to their members for more ripple effects.
On his part, the State Agro Technician, FGN/IFAD VCDP, Mr. Ifeanyi Okoye, while calling for the establishment of a demonstration farm for practical knowledge sharing, charged them to totally abide by due process in their farming activities so as to achieve the state’s target of ten tons per hectare of Rice farm and forty tons per hectare of Cassava farm.
Stepping down the training proper, the resource persons and Extension Agent for Orumba South local government area, Mr. Toney Okeke, and his Orumba North counterpart, Mrs. Ngozi Nwankwor, while taking participants on Cassava and Rice value chains production and postharvest activities, tasked them to first of all, prepared a business plan, select good site, keep record of all their farming activities and most importantly, enter into cooperative society for easy access to information, inputs, credit, group training and market.
For some of the participants, including Mr. Chiamaobi Okoli, a Rice farmer from Ndiokpalaeze, Orumba North Local Government Area and Mrs. Ngozi Muoneme, Secretary Ogboji farmers cluster, Orumba South Local Government Area, described the training as a refresher course even as they assured to further step it down to their members.