LAGOS STATE FLAGS-OFF THE 2019 AGRICULTURAL VALUE CHAIN EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMME
Determined to realize his Administration’s goal of Food Security by moving self sufficiency ratio to 40%, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu today provided 1,750 agricultural value chains actors with different agricultural productive assets and inputs.
The Governor affirmed his commitment to the agricultural sectors saying that “his administration has further begun the implementation of various projects in the agricultural space that are targeted at revolutionizing food production, meeting food production targets and consequently will reduce dependence on other states for food supply”.
The Lagos State Governor was represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat at the flag-off ceremony of the 2019 Agricultural Value Chains Empowerment Program held at the Police College, Ikeja today.
He stated that his administration is prepared to adequately meet the challenges of food security, adding that there is a need for a new and integrated approach to food production and agro-allied business in order to provide food for the citizens of Lagos.
Speaking further, he stated that in spite of the global climate change which constitutes a major challenge to food security, the State Government will continue to provide necessary assistance and advisory services to farmers so as to increase food production in the state. He added that the agricultural sector plays a vital role in sustainable food security and diversifying the economy.
In line with his commitments, he announced that his administration has developed a 5 year agricultural roadmap with the theme ‘A sustainable and inclusive Growth Strategy with Citizens at the Core’.
He averred that ‘the roadmap focuses on the development of agricultural value chains where the state has competitive and comparative advantages including the provision and availability of improved inputs, increased productivity and production’.
He stated further that the ‘roadmap addresses wholesomeness of food items, reduction in post-harvest losses, improving linkages with industry with respect to backward integration as well as access to financial services and markets.
Other efforts put in place by the state government includes the 32 tons per hour rice mill at Imota, the agricultural based Youth Empowerment Scheme (YES), the World Bank assisted Agro-processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Projects (APPEALS) among others.
Announcing his devotion to the improvement of the Red Meat Value Chain, he said that the government will establish standard operating procedures in processing, packaging and sales of red meat in the state.
He added that his administration has established Eko-City Famers’ Market to serve as a place where farmers can meet with consumers and traders to sell their goods under a well-organized structure.
Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal stated that the attainment of food security is a cardinal objective of the State Government to attain its status of a 21st century economy.
Prince Lawal stated that since the inception of the programme, a total of 9,483 farmers, fishermen, processors and marketers have been empowered by the state government.
The Commissioner reiterated that the project was an opportunity to provide support to smallholder farmers that are actively engaged in the various value chains which results to the creation of wealth and job opportunity.
He stated that “the implementation of this project will significantly improve standard of living of fish farmers, fishermen, marketers and agro-processors in the state and will eventually expand food production by 3% and increase revenue to the State Government in form of taxes and other levies”.