Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat has reiterated the commitment of the Sanwo-Olu Administration to ensuring food security for Lagosians by maximizing opportunities available to farmers in the State and leveraging on technology.
Saying that the State’s engagement with the World Bank’s $200million Intervention Fund for Agro-processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project is to leverage on the opportunities in ensuring that the three (3) main areas of focus, Hamzat said Aquaculture, Poultry, and Rice are the main areas where it has comparative advantage.
Dr. Hamzat who chairs the State’s Steering Committee for APPEALS indicated that the project development objective is to enhance Agricultural Productivity of Small and Medium Scale Farmers and ensure value chain development in the three (3) identified areas.
He noted that the essence of the project is for the State Government to assist its farmers to improve and adopt value chain plans of production, processing, and preservation.
Hamzat added that the State Government through the project targets 10,000 farmers of which 35% must be women, 10% people living with disability and the youths.
The Deputy Governor further disclosed that farmers and cooperatives involved in the project will form alliances linking farmers to markets through off-takers and local processors, a situation that will 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 the adoption of technology, there can be a significant improvement in productivity by the farmers adding that production of egg powder is able to assist poultry farmers to increase their productivity and boost business.
He noted that with the little land the State has, it can 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 includes Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Dr. (Mrs.) Lola Akande;
Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Bolaji Dada; Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Olayiwole Onasanya; National Project Coordinator, Dr. Amin Babaji amongst others.