Farmers charged on contributing to Nigeria’s growth through agric export

PERMANENT Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Olayiwola Onasanya, has called on farmers to contribute to the growth of Nigeria’s economy through export of agricultural products.

He made the call while speaking during a three- day training organised by the Lagos State Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Support (APPEALS) for beneficiaries of the programmes in the fish, poultry and rice value chains at Oko-Oba, Agege, Lagos.

He said that part of the mandate of APPEALS project is to develop the export potential of the beneficiaries and to ensure successful linkage to international market, stressing that the meeting with the certification and regulatory agencies is one of the strategic ways in achieving the feat.

Lagos State Project Coordinator of APPEALS, Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo, while speaking with journalists on the sideline of the programme, said the essence of the training was to assist the farmers with the right knowledge in order to get premium prices for their products and gain access to the export market.

She said that a lot of the farmers are encouraging the state govern­ment with the pace at which they are adopting the technologies that have been demonstrated to them.

“One of the things we have ob­served is that knowledge is power, it is not enough for you to support people with grants without giving them adequate knowledge to utilise the grant,” she said.

While speaking on the success of the project, she said that it has recorded about 90 percent success rate.

“In order to get 100 percent, we have to let them know that we have zero tolerance for failure and that is what we try to do at every meeting. We have put mechanisms in place, officers are going round for verifi­cations and monitoring from time to time.

“To ensure that the Lagos state government does not put the grant element to waste, we must get value for our money and we must be sure we are food secure,” she added.

Deputy Director, Export Division, National Agency for Food and Drug Administra­tion and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Sadiq Yunus, said that the Agency is ready to boost Medium Small Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) through facilitations at no cost, stressing that all NAFDAC processes for product registration are automated and online.

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