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New Yam Harvest Forces Down Prices In Bwari, Dutse Markets

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Yam dealers in Bwari and Dutse markets of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) say the harvesting of new yams has forced the price of the tubers down in the market, making it more affordable to residemts.
A cross section of the dealers made the observation during a market survey conducted by The Tide source in Abuja on Sunday.
Our source reports that the prices of yam in both markets ranged from a negotiable price of N1000, to N1,200 for five tubers and N2, 000 to N2, 500 for 10 tubers, depending on the sizes of the tubers.
This is compared to the N3,000 for five tubers and between N4,500 to N5,000 before the harvest.
One of the traders, Mrs Roseline Audu said that the rainy season had made foodstuff, generally, available in the market because of a bumper harvest by some farmers.
According to her, yam harvested now cannot be stored beyond two to three months or it spoils, while adding that the farmers need the seedlings for the next planting season.
She said: “ Once you remove yam from the farm before they are fully developed or matured, you cannot store them for long.
“ Besides, farmers need the seedlings for the next planting season, we have no option but to sell at whatever price offered to us.”
Another seller, Yaro Shehu said that in spite of the availability of the product, the old yams were still expensive as many people preferred to buy them because they were believed to be more suitable for consumption.
Shehu said that the price could also be reduced when sold in large quantity while adding that there were more customers compared to the previous weeks.
He also said that most farmers are forced to sell the produce at cheap rates because they have problems that require money.
“We don’t make much profit these days. We just have to sell to solve our domestic and other problem and if we don’t harvest them now, we will not get the seeds for the dry season,” Shehu said.
A buyer, Madam Felicia Nnamdi said that the price of yams had reduced and is more affordable than before, while adding that the produce has in no small measure reduced the burden of many families who relied on it for their various food needs.
Similarly, another consumer, Mr Chris Elisha said he was happy that the new yam came at a time other food produce may have skyrocketed in the market beyond the reach of the common man.
He added that the new yam was cheaper and affordable.
He also said that consumers were yet to experience abundance of the produce because bigger harvests are yet to commence.

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More Youths Engage In Artisanal Refining

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As unemployment bites harder amidst rising cost of living, more youths in rural communities in Rivers State are now going into artisanal refining business to earn a living.
The Tide reliably gathered that some youths residing in Port Harcourt City were gradually moving to rural communities for bunkering business otherwise known as ‘kpo-fire’ 
Narrating his experience to The Tide, Mr Godwin Ibeneme who resides in Rumuekini in Akpor, said he was introduced into the kpor-fire business by his father.
Ibeneme, who hails from Ibaa/ Obelle area of Emohua Local Government Area, said his father compelled him to join other youths who were thriving in the business in the community.
“My father came to my house here in Rumuekini, and told me to come to the village, that other young men are making it through kpo-fire’ bunkering since I have lost my job.
“ I didn’t waste time to give it a trial, because I had really looked for what to do, since I lost my job at a fast-food company. Since then, I can tell you that I have been taking care of myself, unlike before when everything looked hopeless”, he explained.
The Tide also learnt that the kpo-fire’ business was currently thriving in Isiokpo axis of Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.
A resident of the community who pleaded anonymity, told The Tide that there was a high level of discrimination in the business.
According to him, he decided to engage himself at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, to hustle for his daily bread, instead of staying idle.
The Tide recalls that the Federal Government had promised to build modular refineries in the Niger Delta region since 2019 as an alternative to illegal oil bunkering in the region as well as to create employment for the youth. 
The Tide also reports that three years after the promise was made, nothing has been done in that regard.

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Oyigbo Cassava Plant, Legacy Project   -Akawor

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The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Amb. Desmond Akawor, says the cassava plant project, being executed by the Rivers State Government in Oyigbo is a legacy project that will generate huge employment for Rivers people.
He said the project was well thought out and would stand the test of time to tackle unemployment as well as ensure food availability in the state.
Akawor made the remarks during an interaction with journalists at the weekend in Port Harcourt.
According to him, the cassava plant which was supposed to be executed by the previous administrations, was initially planned to be a joint venture between the state government and some organisations, but that the other partners did not pay their counterpart funding.
“The steps taken by the Wike-led administration to bring this project to life without the counterpart funding is commendable, because of the huge economic benefits it will give to the state.
“Many people have also been employed at the construction sites of flyovers being executed by Julius Berger. Eighty percent of those working there are indigenes, while the company provides the expatriates”, he said.
The  PDP chairman also hinted on the plans of the state government to privatise the Buguma fish farm and banana farm, among others, so as to make them more viable.
He said that the state government had not abandoned the projects initiated by the previous administration, but was thinking on what to do with them. 
Akawor maintained that the employment of 5,000 persons into the civil service was still ongoing, saying the government is only taking time to ensure that indigenes of the state are employed.

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PH Airport Resumes Skeletal International Flight Operations

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Skeletal flight operations have resumed at the international wing of the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa.
This follows the lifting of the curfew that was imposed in the state by the Rivers State Government to check cases of insecurity in the state.
The Tide’s checks show that many of the airlines that operate international flights are yet to resume flight operations, even though the coast is clear for them to resume operations.
The Cronaux Airline, it was gathered, is the only airline at the moment that has fully resumed international flight.
Other airlines that operate at the international wing, like the Lufthansa Airline, Turkish Airline, and Ethiopian Airline are yet to resume operations. 
The Acting Head of Corporate Affairs, FAAN, Kunle Akinbode, confirmed the resumption of international flight operations at the airport, last Friday, saying the international wing is now open for international airlines to operate.
He explained that the curfew that was imposed in the state delayed the resumption of international flights operations, even when issues of Covid-19 standard protocols had been addressed.
“Now that the curfew is over and the international wing is open for flight operations, it is left for each of the airlines to work out its own schedule for operations.
“It will not be the duty of the airport management to sort things out for them and know when to resume. I know that some have started. Lufthansa has said they will resume next month, August”, Akinbode said.
The Tide reports that the international wing of the Port Harcourt Airport had been shut since the Covid-19 lockdown, and did not reopen when other international airports in Lagos, Abuja and Kano among others reopened for international operations.

Stories by Corlins Walter

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