Onosemuode hails UPU UK for presenting improved cassava varieties to Urhobo Kingdoms

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Ven. Onosemuode with bundles of improved cassava stems

By Tosan Edematie

Venerable Victor Onosemuode, JP, a retired priest of the Anglican Communion,  has showered encomiums on the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) United Kingdom (UK) Chapter for presenting improved cassava varieties to nine Urhobo kingdoms that were affected by the floods that ravaged Urhobo communities in 2022.

The UPU UK Chapter, as part of its Flood Disaster Response programme initiated in November 2022  to “provide a coordinated, emergency humanitarian support for the affected peoples” of the Kingdoms massively devastated by the floods, obtained trailers loads of improved cassava seeds from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), for distribution to the affected communities. The week-long distribution was at the Urhobo Cultural Centre, Uvwiamuge-Agbarho.  It was supervised by the Forum of Urhobo Kingdoms’ Presidents-General, led by Chief Godwin Jefia Notoma, President-General of Udu.  

Venerable Onosemuode, who spoke at the Urhobo Cultural Centre, Uvwiamuge-Agbarho,  as his Arhavwarien kingdom was taking delivery of their bundles of cassava stems, thanked UPU UK for the improved varieties, describing the gesture  as “an answer to our cry.”

He related: “I visited Arhavwarien on October 17, 2022, and was shocked by what I saw. Boats became town service, all the streets were flooded. I wondered then how the people would regain their crops, so you can imagine my excitement when I learned about the plans of the Urhobo in the UK to help the kingdoms that were flooded. I thank God that the promise has been fulfilled. I want to thank the UPU UK branch for this gesture and I thank those here at home for ensuring the distribution is done smoothly.“

Representatives of some of the kingdoms with their improved cassava stems

Arhavwarien, Evwreni,  Ewu, Okparabe, Olomu, Udu, Ughelli (Ughelli-Urhie),  Ughievwen, and Uwheru Kingdoms are beneficiaries of the improved cassava stems.

The improved cassava varieties include the popular TME 419 and TMS 30572.

Reached by the media. Chief Ejiro Ughwujabo, President of the UPU UK Chapter,  expressed hope that the improved cassava varieties will assist the affected farmers and boost the cassava industry in Urhoboland.

Chief Ughwujabo thanked everyone in the UK that contributed positively towards executing the intervention.  “May I also express my most profound gratitude and appreciation to all our people whose kingdoms were not affected by the floods, but contributed very generously,” he said.

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