Owerri – As various communities in Imo celebrate the 2009 â€˜Iri Jiâ€™ festival, the state government has said that it would identify with only those celebrating the indigenous variety of yam.
Chief Longers Anyanwu, the State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, disclosed the governmentâ€™s position in Owerri at the weekend, whileÂ speaking with newsmen.
Anyanwu explained that the decision was aimed at ensuring that communities planted the indigenous variety of yams which, according to him are more nutritious and palatable than others.
He underscored the importance of the â€˜Iri Jiâ€™ festival in Igbo land and stressed the need to preserve the tradition without any adulteration.
Anyanwu declared, â€œany traditional ruler who wants me or any other official to attend the festival, must invite me to witness the planting of the yam and that is the beginning.
Secondly, we have our native sweet yams and all these nutritious ones we must exhibit during the ceremony.