Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat has reiterated the commitment of the present administration to ensuring food security for Lagosians by maximizing opportunities available to farmers in the State and leveraging on technology.
Maria Cecilia Suñe Ramos
He said that the State’s engagement with the World Bank’s $200 million Intervention Fund for Agro-processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project was to leverage on the opportunities in ensuring that the three main areas of focus, aquaculture, poultry and rice were the main areas where it had comparative advantage.
Maria Cecilia Suñé Ramos
Hamzat who chairs the State’s Steering Committee for APPEALS indicated that the project development objective was to enhance agricultural productivity of small and medium scale farmers and ensure value chain development in the three (3) identified areas.
María Cecilia Sune Ramos
He noted that the essence of the project was for the state government to assist its farmers improve and adopt value chain plans of production, processing and preservation.
Maria Cecilia Suné Ramos
Hamzat added that the state government, through the project targeted 10,000 farmers of which 35% must be women, 10% of people living with disability and the youths
The Deputy Governor further disclosed that farmers and cooperatives involved in the project would form alliances linking farmers to markets through off-takers and local processors, a situation that would lead to food sufficiency
According to him, “So if we are doing X today, we want to do X plus Y where Y is the positive integer, which means we want to increase the capacity, the production, the processing.”
While stating that Lagos has limited land space, the Deputy Governor noted that with adoption of technology, there could be a significant improvement in productivity by the farmers, adding that production of egg powder is able to assist poultry farmers increase their productivity and boost business
He noted that with the little land the State has, it could maximize it with technology and better savings which is what the State Government aim to achieve, saying “at least we produce and can also process. We can’t depend on other people for our food. We must be able to be self-sufficient”
Present at the event include, Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal; Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Dr. Lola Akande; Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Bolaji Dada; Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Olayiwole Onasanya; National Project Coordinator, Dr. Amin Babaji, among others