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Unizik to establish farm village to improves IGR

The management of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Anambra State, says it has put in place a plan to establish farm village to improve the University’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

The Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Charles Esimone, stated this during the New Yam Festival (Iri Ji) celebration, organized by Unizik Farmers Association (UFA), held at the School Cooperative Arena, over the weekend.

He said the management of the varsity under his leadership will provide over 10 plots of land to actualize the project.

According to him, it will serve a tourist centre that will improved IGR for the University.

“The design is to have a village setting; natural with ecosystem of the place preserved, set up huts and mud houses only as buildings, blacksmith spots, palm wine and bush meat joint, among other natural amenities.”

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Prof Esimone noted that the festival is a way of showing gratitude to God for a successful planting season before the yam can be consumed by humans, saying that propagation of Igbo values and culture to be in line with African civilization is the mandate of the Unizik Farmers Association (UFA), even as he eulogized the pioneer President of the  Association, Mr. Kingsley Ikechukwu Ubaoji and the members for living up to the expectation.

He called on other university managements across the country to emulate the project to serve also as a tool to motivate students towards agriculture.

In his address, the President of Unizik Farmers Association (UFA), Mr. Kingsley Ikechukwu Ubaoji, said the new yam festival was aimed at deepening the Igbo consciousness against food insecurity since the university community is domiciled in Igbo land, describing new yam festival as part of Igbo culture that is sacred.

He explained that the ceremony was to showcase what the members of the Association have done in the 2022 farming season.

According to Ubaoji, “despite all encumbrances and limitations, we made some modest progress in driving the Association forward.

“The Association under my leadership have been able to register with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and have also ten different cooperative names under the umbrella of UFA and our numerical strength has grown beyond five hundred and fifty (550) members and we also open to all and sundry who love to get involved in Agricultural activities,” he added.

He called on South-East governors to collaborate with the Ohanaeze Ndigbo and other Igbo renaissance groups in promoting the cultural heritage.

Dr. Harrison Etaga, from the Department of Statistics, who is the Chairman, Planning Committee of the Festival, on behalf of the Association, thanked the almighty God for a bountiful harvest.

“Our gratitude goes to the Vice Chancellor, Prof Esimone, for his promised to allot over ten plots of land to Farmers in the University and for his genuine fight against insecurity around the School community.”

The ceremony was attended by traditional rulers from Awka North/South local government areas, students, staff of the university and politicians, including Senator Victor Umeh and Prof. Oby Orogbu, both Senate and House of Representatives Candidates of the Labour Party in the 2023 general election.