Oriendu Community Benefits From WAAPP’s Technologies
THE West African Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP)-Nigeria has adopted Oriendu Village, a rural Community in Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State for the establishment of Biogas Digester.
This step, in collaboration with the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike is meant to demonstrate to the adopted community alternative cheap source of energy for cooking and lighting in the rural areas; creation of employment opportunities by training some persons in this respect; and discouraging deforestation, among others.
At the training, the NRCRI Director of Extension Services in charge of WAAPP, Dr. Godwin Asumugha said the technology is an alternative and cheap source of energy in rural areas, adding that already more than 10 youths were undergoing training on how to establish or set up the technology.
According to NRCRI Executive Director, Dr. Julius Okonkwo, the organisation has since 2011 been collaborating with WAAPP to facilitate the dissemination of improved agricultural technologies adding that “to this end, the Adopted Village Concept which was first introduced to the National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARIs) firstly in 1996 under the World Bank assisted programs of the National Agricultural Research Project (NARP), was re-activated and consolidated by the WAAPP.”
According to him, the concept was introduced for developing, disseminating and evaluating technologies emanating from Research Institutes who “were to conduct their demonstrations in the identified adopted villages for adoption and impact, for convincing intending farmers and end users on the viability of technologies being promoted.
Other objectives he listed were to encourage large-scale adoption of improved technologies, economic empowerment of resource poor farmers, creation of job opportunities for youths and enhancing of food security.
On the main features of the adopted villages, he said they include empowerment of the communities through initial provision of some facilities, capacity building of the communities, empowerment of farmers to identify their problems and search for solutions, facilitate community activities, operate an agricultural research outreach center including information flow.
On the other activities, Okonkwo said that apart from establishing adopted villages, the Institute established secondary schools outreach programs around them for the purpose of establishing Agricultural Research Outreach Centres (AROCs).
The main purpose he explained, “ is to ensure that the impact of agricultural research and training is felt in these schools and increase students interest in agriculture and home economics, adding that currently, NRCRI has 13 Outreach Schools in seven states out of which five are in Abia.
Describing the training and the Biogas Digester project as first of its kind in his community, the community’s traditional ruler, Eze Philip Ajomiwe, a farmer, commended WAAPP and NRCRI for considering to adopt Oriendu for the project.