Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has encouraged the farming of snails and mushrooms in the country as he expressed in confidence that Nigeria will soon be self reliant in productivity of these less concentrated areas of agriculture.
The Science and Technology Minister made this notion known when he performed the foundation laying ceremony for the establishment of the Bioresources Development Centre being undertaken by the National Biotechnology Development Agency as well as the South East Zonal Training Centre of the Nigeria Institute of Leather Science and Technology being undertaken by the Ministry of Science and Technology at Okwudor in Njaba council area of Imo State.
Onu revealed that when the centers are completed, it would aid the reformation of the community and the entire state in a whole, as the people would be graced abundantly from the centres in the required skills of Bioresources training at their disposal.
“What we are doing today is very important but many people may not see the significance until the centres come into full operation. What we are doing today was done in Odi in Bayelsa State some years back and the impact has been tremendous because the former militants who were being trained abroad in Bioresources and Leather technology are today being trained in Odi” said the Minister of Science and Technology.
He further stressed that the centre would make provision of tech related skills and will create an enabling room for people to become experts in the cultivation of edible mushrooms and snail farming, with the the advantage of a ready market for it in the country and also for boost exportation opportunities due to its high level of demand that would inturn blossom the economy by enriching the people.
He added, “Again, this Institute of Leather Science and Technology is the only accredited training institute in the country where people can really be trained in leather technology and certificated. So, having a zonal Centre here in this community is indeed a blessing for the community because leather export today contributes a lot to the national economy.”
Onu also envisioned the need to urge the people to protect the facilities and the workers, stressing that it is in their own interest to do so and also implored the federal government respond to the call of the people whenever their attention is needed. He was also confident that the projects have already been encapsulated in the 2019 budgets.
The Acting Director – General of the Nigeria Institute of Leather Science and Technology, Dr. Opara E Ngozi, said that the Centre will train people to be proficient in leather development and technology to stimulate production for export. She disclosed that the institute has already trained over 100 person in Aba.
She implored the people of the community to support the realization of the project which would not only improve their local economy but would also provide them with skills.
The traditional Ruler of Okwudor Community, Eze Anayo Ernest Durueboruo, expressed the gratitude of the people to the federal government saying that they have always pray that they would be remembered by the Federal government.
He promised that the community would stick with the Memorandum of Understanding reached and that the people will not allow this opportunity to slip away through their fingers by ensuring that the community cooperates with the federal government.