The first set of youths trained under the Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS) of Abia State Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through the instrumentality of State Ministry of Agriculture at Abia State Poultry Clusters, Umuosu Umunna Nsulu, Isiala Ngwa LGA, have been handed over to the Ministry of Agriculture with their bird pens assigned to them.

Speaking before handing over the graduands to the Commissioner for Agriculture and representatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Project Consultant, Igwe Nonso Ogbunamiri, who recalled that the mandate given to him was to train about 10000 youths in poultry farming, explained that the essence of the event was to update the Ministry and CBN on the progress made in that regard.

Ogbunamiri further informed that the 225 youths who started the first phase of the training were grouped into two with one week of theoretical orientation and training given them after which they were put through two months intensive practical.

According to him, they have been able to pick few that showed much interest and would assign each of them a pen of 250 birds to rear and bring up to maturity as they have ready market, which he said had been created to accommodate all birds in the Cluster.

The Project Consultant while thanking the Governor and the CBN for the support and sponsorship of the project, appealed for patience as his team would eventually increase the number of trained personnel for the Poultry Clusters.

Also speaking, a representative of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Kelechi Adieze expressed satisfaction with the progress made in the Poultry Clusters noting that the CBN was proud to be associated with both the Ministry of Agriculture and UP Farms for their innovations.

Mr. Adieze lauded the State Government for being first State in Nigeria to access the Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS), revealing that the State would equally be the first also to access the infrastructural components of the project.

He disclosed the idea of training the youths in poultry farming was to give money in form of loan to farmers instead of giving direct fund to them and appealed to the Ministry of Agriculture to involve more farmers to participate in the scheme.

In his response, the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prof. Ikechi Mgbeoji, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Very Rev Ernest Onyeukwu assured that his Ministry would be more regular in monitoring the process and progress subsequent batches by extending their orientation period so as to educate them on the main essence of the project

He thanked the CBN for partnering the State Government and Consultant, Igwe Nonso Ogbunamiri for doing a great job insisting that there was no mistake in choosing him as the consultant.

The Commissioner promised to give the maximum support of the Ministry to all the trainees especially one Mr. Chimaobi Owunna who was singled out for exceptional commitment for the programme and called on others to take the training very seriously.

Highlights of the event was the handing over of the names of graduands to the representative of the Commissioner for Agriculture.

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