The 764 Fadama User Groups (FUGs) in Abia have received N345 million under the Third National Fadama Development Programme.
Mrs Ezinne Otuka, the State Programme Coordinator, said this on Thursday in Umuahia during the distribution of 60 motorcycles to Fadama III facilitators in the state.
The Fadama III programme started in the state in 2009 with 70 registered Fadama Community Associations (FCAs) that cut across all the local government areas of Abia.
"We decided to buy the motorbikes due to the terrain of our rural communities,’’ Otuka said, and stressed the need to monitor Fadama projects in rural communities.
She said the motorbikes were distributed to ease the problems of mobility facing facilitators of the programme who operated in rural communities.
She said 60 out of the 64 facilitators in the state would benefit from the largesse.
She said the remaining four facilitators who operated in urban centres would be empowered with an alternative means of transportation.
Otuka said the state had more than 74 Fadama Community Associations (FCAs), adding that the sub-projects cited in their various communities had lifted their economic status.
Mr Maurice Ichita, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, said the Fadama Project Office in the state had done well by coordinating the activities of all the FUGs.
He warned the beneficiaries not to use the motorcycles for commercial purposes, adding the government would closely monitor their usage.
Ichita said the state governor had been sensitive to the plights of rural communities, "and that is why he has consistently paid the counterpart funds to get the programme going.
"We will closely monitor the usage of the motorbikes because they are not for commercial purposes but to aid in food production," Ichita said.
Mr Okoroafor Ukariwe a facilitator from Owuwa Anyanwu FCA in Ohafia local government area, commended the state Fadama office for the gesture, noting that they had longed to receive such encouragement.
"Everybody knows the terrain of the rural communities and this will assist get to our project sites," Ukariwe said. (NAN)