Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has formally commissioned the 55,500 capacity Ultra Modern Poultry Cluster for Abia Central Senatorial Zone under the Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme of the CBN.
Lying on a land area of 3.5 hectares of land, the cluster has a modern administration building with offices, classrooms and living quarters for the Trainees with all facilities built by the Abia State Government while the CBN supports with the training programs for the Trainees.
Commissioning the project which is in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at Umuosu-Nsulu in Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Area of the State, the Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu stressed the need for all to embrace the project and called on stakeholders and politicians to use poultry farming as empowerment tool for Youths in the State.
Governor Ikpeazu assured that the cluster would be replicated in all the three Senatorial zones of the State and charged the LGA Chairmen to provide pens for would be farmers in the LGAs.
The Governor said that his government decided to toe the path of training for poultry farmers because of the need for the farmers to understand the rudiments of poultry farming so as to be successful in the business. He stated that the cluster provides virtually everything needed for the poultry farmer from training, feed production, poultry production and provision of market for the farmers.
The State Chief Executive, however, commended the CBN for its efforts in tackling food insecurity in Nigeria and told the Youths that the cluster is an opportunity to make a better life.
He equally revealed that the cluster now produces poultry feed and disclosed that the feed has been subsidized to 2,000 Naira only per bag for the farmers.
The representative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr. Ogbuagu Camilus disclosed that Abia is the first State in Nigeria to key into the CBN Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme. He assured the Governor that the CBN would sustain the partnership with a view to ensuring that the project achieves its goals.
Speaking, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Prof. Ikechi Mgbeoji said the project would bring about a quantum leap in poultry production in the State, create employment and generate wealth, both for the people and government.
He stressed that the cluster, which is largely sponsored by Governor Ikpeazu’s administration would serve as one of the sites for the implementation of the Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS) of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The projects according the Commissioner would provide direct and indirect employment for over 10,000 youths, along all the value chains in the poultry industry.
He said, so far 1,000 youths have been profiled by the Central Bank to benefit from the AADS, out of which 220 are currently participating at the cluster, after which each of the participants would be allocated birds from the about 55,500 birds already stocked at the cluster.
He commended the Governor for steadfastly fulfilling his promise to lay a solid foundation for the Abia economy by harnessing the great agricultural potentials of the State.
Also speaking, the outgoing Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Solicitor General of the State, Lady Uzoamaka Ikonne said the Cluster is the pilot of many clusters that would go firstly to the Senatorial zones and subsequently to all the LGAs in the State, disclosing that the Governor has already flagged- off the site for the construction for the Abia North zonal cluster.
Lady Ikonne revealed that the infrastructure in the cluster comprises an administrative building, containing three training halls, 26 office rooms, including self-contained rooms that house trainees, 69 Poultry pens with 55,500 capacity birds.
Earlier, the Project Manager, Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme, Igwe Nomso Ogbunamiri said that apart from the poultry clusters to be established across the three senatorial zones of the State, approval has been given for the establishment of twenty five capacity poultry cluster in the seventeen LGAS of the State, in addition to setting up poultry processing plants to mop up all birds produced in the State. He thanked the Governor for bringing them into the project and assured that they will not fail our people.
Deputy Governor Ude Oko Chukwu, Members of the Abia State House of Assembly, Honorable Commissioners and other top Officials of government were there.