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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

In Omor, Activities Kick Off 2022 Ofala Festival

 

By Izunna Okafor, Awka

The Omor Kingdom in Ayamelum Local Government Area of Anambra State has expressed its readiness to tap into the proposed smart agriculture by the Prof. Charles Soludo-led government.

Igwe Chris Oranu Chidume, Eze Igulube, Eze-Anaukwu of Omor Kingdom who disclosed this while addressing the press during ‘Omor-in-Focus,’ a ceremony that marks the beginning of Annual Ofala celebration, noted that agriculture would not only boost the productivity of the community, but will also increase the GDP of the state and the country. Igwe Oranu called on the government to provide the community with College of Agriculture, as there is no University of Agriculture in the state, adding that the whole of Ayamelum LGA is an agrarian society. Urging the government to assist the community on infrastructural development, he pointed out that constant supply of electricity, road infrastructure and agriculture training centres would go a long way in reducing post harvest losses recorded by the farming community. He stated that the premium placed on community development has been the driving force that keeps propelling every Omor indigene to continue contributing towards every project of  development initiated by different age groups and indigenes. “If the government should address these issues, Omor will not only be an economic hub, but will contribute immensely to the GDP of the state and Nigeria at large. Steady electricity supply for the next five years will promote rapid industrialisation. Omor is a resilient people that will take loan and invest in farming and during harvest flooding damages it. Omor people are ready to leverage smart agriculture giving the necessary infrastructure,” he said. Chief Amobi Chiamogu stated that the community records unprecedented post-harvest losses, calling on the government to provide storage facilities. According to Chief Chiamogu, “During rainy season, our people record post-harvest losses, so we are calling on the government to provide us with storage facilities. We are also calling on the government to provide us with access roads. When the regular natural disaster, which is flooding, occurs and the road is submerged, the people of the area are cut off from other communities in Anambra State. It becomes impossible for farmers to evacuate their farm produce. “  “So we are appealing to government to consider building another bridge across Ezu River from Igbariam axis to provide a permanent solution to the post-harvest losses. If the government can dredge and pile up sand of about 20 feet from Anaku end and erect a bridge, it will go a long way in solving the problem. With this, our people can survive flooding without losing much of their farm produce. This is because during the flooding period, we can take the alternative route to evacuate our agricultural produce to markets and processing zones.  “This period of flooding and excessive rain is our glut period. The period of plenty and if we are unable to take them for processing, it means post-harvest loss.” On his part, Justice Paul Obidigwe, fomer Chief Judge of Anambra State, who spoke on the past of Omor Kingdom, noted that before  the Nigeria/Biafra Civil War, Omor had four clans, adding there was no major road and no potable water. He said the community used to get drinkable water from waterfalls and streams.

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Omor Kingdom in Ayamelum Local Government Area of Anambra State is gearing up to embrace the prospects of smart agriculture under the leadership of Prof. Charles Soludo. The traditional ruler, Igwe Chris Oranu Chidume, Eze Igulube, Eze-Anaukwu of Omor Kingdom, conveyed this during the commencement of the Annual Ofala celebration known as ‘Omor-in-Focus.’ He emphasized that the adoption of modern agricultural practices would not only enhance the community’s productivity but also contribute to the overall GDP of the state and the nation.

In light of their agrarian background, Igwe Oranu urged the government to establish a College of Agriculture in the community, considering that there is no University of Agriculture in the state. He also stressed the importance of infrastructural development, particularly in areas such as electricity supply, road networks, and agriculture training centers, to mitigate post-harvest losses faced by local farmers.

The traditional leader further emphasized the community’s dedication to progress and development, with every Omor indigene actively contributing to various projects initiated by different age groups and individuals. He believed that with adequate government support, Omor could become an economic hub and significantly contribute to the state and country’s GDP. Steady electricity supply, in particular, was highlighted as crucial for promoting rapid industrialization.

Chief Amobi Chiamogu expressed concern over the community’s significant post-harvest losses, mainly during the rainy season. He appealed to the government to provide storage facilities to mitigate these losses effectively. Additionally, he called for the construction of a new bridge across the Ezu River from Igbariam axis, which would offer a permanent solution to the post-harvest challenges caused by flooding. With proper infrastructure, Omor’s people would be able to navigate through flood periods, ensuring the preservation and transportation of their agricultural produce to markets and processing centers.

Justice Paul Obidigwe, former Chief Judge of Anambra State, recounted the historical context of Omor Kingdom. Before the Nigeria/Biafra Civil War, the community faced challenges with basic amenities such as major roads and potable water, relying on waterfalls and streams for their water supply.

Overall, the people of Omor are eager to embrace smart agriculture and are hopeful that with the necessary support from the government, they can overcome existing challenges and make significant contributions to the region’s economic growth and development.

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