Lagos unfolds projects to boost food security
Lagos State government, on Thursday, unfolded various agricultural projects that will shore up the food security status of the state, saying that the projects would ultimately quickly shore up the food security status of the state from its current 18 per cent to 40 per cent.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, made the disclosure while rendering the account of activities of his ministry within the last one year to commemorate the first year anniversary of the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu led administration.
Lawal listed some of the projects to include the Songhai Project now Avia Food Production Centre, the Araga Food Production Centre, the establishment of one ton per hour Fish Feed Mill (Extruder System) and the establishment of the Wholesale Produce Market.
According to him, others are the establishment of Strategic Food Reserve, completion and commissioning of the 32 Metric Tons Per Hour Rice Mill at Imota; the optimal utilization of the Farm Settlements and Estates in the State; empowerment of Lagos Agriprenurship Programme (LAP) graduands as well as the establishment of 160 hectares feedlot at Imota, Epe.
Lawal stated that the present situation of food security in the state had been especially impacted by the lessons learnt from the coronavirus pandemic, noting that it was a situation that had made deliberate efforts and policy formulation on the part of the government imperative.
He explained that these deliberate efforts and policy formulation by the state government had prepared Lagos adequately for future events that may want to test the food reserve and supply system of the state.
“In line with the 5- Year Agricultural Development Road Map earlier developed by the Ministry of Agriculture that highlighted intervention areas to boost productivity along the value chains where the state has comparative advantages, this pandemic has brought to fore the need to shore up quickly the food security status of the state previously at 18 per cent with a goal to scale up to 40% in order to prevent another kind of pandemic in the form of food scarcity.
“This, therefore, calls for deliberate effort and policy formulation on the part of the government in order to prepare for future events that may want to test the food reserve and supply system of the state.
“The ministry is, therefore, to embark on some of these projects in the course of the year to shore up the food security status of the state,” Lawal stated.
He assured out that these agricultural projects would no doubts increase agricultural production that would meet the food needs of the state’s growing population and transform agriculture to commercial and export-oriented production by essentially focusing on boosting local food production and employment generation, especially for the youth.
Lawal added that these projects would also provide training facilities for agriprenuers, youths, women and students in agricultural schemes; promote efficient distribution systems for agricultural produce through wholesale, retail and distribution channels; provide good storage facilities for a purposeful food reserve in the state as well as generate more revenue for the state.
“The objectives of these projects include boosting local food production; creating employment opportunities especially for the youth; providing training facilities for agripreneurs, youth, women and students in agricultural schemes; promoting efficient distribution systems for agricultural produce through wholesale, retail and distribution channels; providing good storage facilities for a purposeful food reserve in the state and generating more revenue for the State,” he explained.
Lawal, however, assured that the state government would not rest on its oars but would rather continue to intensify efforts in the agricultural space, especially where the state had comparative ecological and socio-economic advantages.