Poultry Farmers In Cross River To Smile Soon

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The National Coordinator of WAAPP-Nigeria, Prof. Chikwendu Damian receiving a gift from the Vice Chancellor of UNICAL, Prof. James Epoke during the visit
The National Coordinator of WAAPP-Nigeria, Prof. Chikwendu Damian receiving a gift from the Vice Chancellor of UNICAL, Prof. James Epoke during the visit

The National Coordinator of the West African Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP-Nigeria), Professor Chikwendu Damian has given assurance that the Poultry aspect of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the University of Calabar (UNICAL) will soon be implemented to boost the sector in the state.

Professor Damian who made this known while on a courtesy visit to the Vice Chancellor of University of Calabar, Professor James Epoke, after inspection of the WAAPP-UNICAL farms in Akpabuyo and Calabar, explained that he was in the state also for a meeting with the Coordinators of the program in all the WAAPP-Nigeria implementing Universities in Nigeria to review the activities of the program.

He explained that the aspects of Technology dissemination, Cassava Multiplication, and Fingerlings Multiplication were fully implemented except Poultry, and assured that in the next one month a meeting will be called to see to the implementation of that provision of the MoU they signed with UNICAL.

The National Coordinator expressed satisfaction with the activities of WAAPP-UNICAL, stressing that though there were still challenges as in the area of inadequate hectares of land currently under cultivation for cassava, and enough fingerlings to feed the market, he has seen that the Vitamin A fortified and four hundred and nineteen varieties of cassava were being cultivated by WAAPP-UNICAL.

Professor Damian commended the VC of UNICAL, Professor Epoke for providing a conducive atmosphere for the program to operate and the Coordinator of WAAPP-UNICAL, Professor Emmanuel Agiang, who is also the Dean of Agricultural Sciences of the University and his team for doing a wonderful job but added that there was still room for improvement.

He disclosed that WAAPP is a West African program being sponsored by the World Bank, and is currently being implemented in 13 ECOWAS countries, explaining that the aim of WAAPP is to increase agricultural productivity in West Africa as well as promote regional integration.

In his response, the VC of UNICAL Professor James Epoke said that WAAPP-Nigeria holds the key to food sufficiency/security of the country, disclosing that in the past lip service was paid to the agricultural sector, and the consequence of such neglect is the present food insecurity, adding that he thanked WAAPP-Nigeria for its activities/projects in UNICAL.

The Coordinator, WAAPP-UNICAL, Professor Emmanuel Agiang disclosed that he and members of his team were taking every opportunity provided to ensure that the program succeed and is extended to more communities in the state. He equally lauded the VC for his support and the National Coordinator of WAAPP-Nigeria, Professor Chikwendu Damian for providing the necessary incentives and support to make the program successful in UNICAL.

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