The Lagos State Government says about 20,000 fishermen and farmers will be empowered with inputs under its 2022 Agricultural Value Chains Enterprise Support Programme aimed at boosting food production.
Ms Abisola Olusanya, the State Commissioner of Agriculture, stated this during the flag-off of the 2022 Agricultural Value Chains Enterprise Support Programme on Thursday in Ikorodu Local Government Area (LGA).
Olusanya said that the empowerment would be presented to farmers across food production and processing clusters communities in the 20 LGAs and 37 LCDA of the state for the next two weeks.
She explained that the programme could not hold in 2022 due to the preparation for the 2023 general elections.
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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the empowerment include smoking kilns, water pumps, herbicides, pesticides, knapsack sprayers, kerosene stove, fertiliser and wheelbarrows, among others.
She noted that aside from these, the administration had also trained 51,476 and empowered 25,691 women and youths in different agricultural value chain
Olusanya said that they include cage and pen culture, poultry, rice production, snailery, bee keeping, coconut arts and craft, amongst others, using various government platforms.
Olusanya said the initiative was designed to provide agricultural inputs and production assets to 120 fishing and farming clusters/communities across the 20 LGAs in the state.
“In all, over 20,000 fisherfolks and farmers will benefit from the programme while budgetary provision has been made to accommodate a larger number of value chain actors in the 2023 edition of the programme.
“I express profound appreciation to Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Governor of Lagos State, for his immense support to agricultural development.
“It is my belief that all our fisherfolks and farmers in the beneficiary clusters and communities will make the best use of the inputs received toward the overall development of agriculture in Lagos,” she said.
She noted that the attainment of food security was a major policy thrust of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration, given its relevance in promoting the health and well-being of citizens and the achievement of the state government’s THEMES Agenda.
“The ministry developed a five-year Agricultural and Food System Roadmap to galvanise public, private, and donor agency efforts in the development of agriculture.
“The roadmap also provides solutions for the wholesomeness of food items, reduction in post-harvest losses, and improving linkages with industry with respect to backward integration as well as access to financial services and markets.
“This is expected to scale food production from the present 20 per cent of demand to 40 per cent by 2025,” she said.
Dr Rotimi Fashola, Special Adviser to the Governor on Rice, said that 16,466 farmers, fishermen, agro-processors, butchers and marketers had benefitted since programme commenced in 2014.
Fashola said that this year’s edition of the programme would be implemented on a communal basis, a shift from the previous process.
“This programme has been tailored to address the needs expressed by fisherfolks and farmers in fishing and farming clusters/communities across the 57 local government and LCDA.
“This is to aid food production, processing and preservation toward enhanced livelihood for the fisherfolks and farmers.
“I urged all beneficiaries of this programme to cooperate with each other in the utilisation of the inputs so that maximum impacts are derived to the overall benefit of Lagosians,” he said.
In his remarks, the Ayangure of Ikorodu, Oba Kabir Sotomi, commended the state government for its support to agriculture and food production in the state.
Sotomi urged the beneficiaries to justify the empowerment by increasing their production.
“I am happy that the government brought empowerment programme to our domain in Ikorodu.
“I thank the commissioner who is one of our daughters from Ikorodu for representing us and supporting farming communities in the area,” he said.
Mr Wasiu Adesina, Chairman, Ikorodu Local Government, urged the beneficiaries to improve and embrace new method of farming with the empowerment.
Adesina also appealed to the farmers to use quality seedlings that would increase their yields to make Ikorodu the food basket of Lagos.
Mr Akin Sokehinsi, a fish farmer and processor, thanked the state government for the empowerment and promised to use it judiciously. (NAN)
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