Abia State has been selected to reap $25million from the $500million World Bank Rural Access and Agricultural Marketng Project (RAAMP) facility.
This was made known to the rural communities’ leaders of the four states from the south east and south south zones selected to benefit from the RAAMP by the Abia State Project Coordinator, Dr John Chibunna, at a workshop in Umuahia, the State capital.
Chibunna, who said the workshop was centred on the RAAMP Resettlement Policy Framework, listed the four states to include Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, and Cross River saying that a total of eighteen states in the country are the project beneficiaries.
He said the new improved RAAMP will foster value chain addition to agricultural produce from production, processing and storage, in line with the ‘Zero reject’ policy of the Federal Government, and thus reduce wastage arising from the transportation of farm produce as well as mitigating the effect of lack of storage facilities in the state.
He lauded Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, for embracing the project and committing to it, saying it will go a long way towards opening up the rural areas of the state.
“This project has expounded his administration’s policy of uplifting the economic life of rural dwellers in the state through the provision of suitable road network and mainstreaming of agricultural marketing and Agro hubs in the rural areas,” he added.
While declaring the workshop open, Governor Ikpeazu expressed joy for the selection of Abia among the states to benefit from the RAAMP.
Represented by his Adviser on Policy Implementation, Evaluation and Monitoring,Chima Chukwu, the Governor said the RAAMP will benefit the state by providing access roads and thus ease movement of agricultural produce from planting to harvesting.
He urged community leaders in the state to cooperate with the RAAMP, noting that the implementation may cause some inconvenience, while assuring that they will be compensated accordingly. “When you return to your communities, please educate your people on the need to cooperate with the RAAMP which is aimed at uplifting the rural areas of the state.
He warned against resorting to petition writing to stall the project rather than contributing to its success in the state.