Lagos State is adjudged the smallest state within the nation by landmass, missing the massive tracts of land accessible to different states for cultivation of crops and agriculture.
And although it accounts for 20 per cent of meals manufacturing, the disruption within the meals provide chain throughout the nation, as a result of COVID-19 pandemic and the outbreak of zoonotic illnesses, coupled with the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests, impacted closely on the fee and availability of meals gadgets, leaving much less disposable earnings within the pockets of common Lagosians.
This growth has nonetheless renewed the state’s vigour and imaginative and prescient to extend its meals manufacturing to, not less than, 50 per cent by 2025, thereby creating new alternatives to feed itself, Nigeria, in addition to stimulating financial progress and prosperity by agriculture.
One of many steps in the direction of realising this imaginative and prescient was the initiative of empowering farmers, thought-about as a dedication to the event and growth of the agricultural sector, pushed by a “farm to desk” mannequin that aligns with its objective of creating the state a very twenty first century economic system.
Throughout the flag-off of distribution of agricultural productive belongings and inputs below the 2021 Agricultural Worth Chains Enterprise Activation Programme final week, 3,000 farmers, comprising ladies, youths and weak Lagosians, have been supported with gear and agricultural enter to assist them make a big distinction within the high quality and scale of their agricultural practices.
The beneficiaries acquired tractors, ploughs, fishing boats and kit; harvesters, threshers, destoning machines, de-feathering machines, medicine, herbicides, fish juveniles, pig growers, smoking kilns, eggs and different numerous implements and enter, in farming communities throughout the agricultural zones of Badagry, Epe and Ikorodu.
On the occasion, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu defined that the interventions lower throughout a variety of individuals within the agricultural worth chain: farmers, processors and retailers of fish, poultry, pig, in addition to rice and different crops.
He mentioned: “The objective is straightforward: we need to make life simpler for our farmers and agriculture staff. We need to make it simpler for them to clear their land, develop high-quality crops, increase wholesome animals, and course of their output. When they can do that efficiently, everybody advantages, from producers to customers. There are clear advantages by way of well being, productiveness, employment, and so forth.
“I’m happy to notice that Lagos State Authorities has put in place a technique for the right utilisation and steady upkeep of those belongings, to make sure that we derive most worth from them. We’re additionally working with a monetary establishment, concerning applicable financing constructions for the assured sustainability of the programme.”
Whereas noting that the state has emerged wiser and extra decided to achieve creating and nurturing a viable agribusiness sector, Sanwo-Olu mentioned: “We could also be Nigeria’s smallest state by landmass, missing the massive tracts of land accessible to others, however we is not going to permit that to face in the best way of our imaginative and prescient.
“We are going to maximise the little now we have, whereas additionally deploying the revolutionary and entrepreneurial spirit we’re identified for, to create new alternatives to feed ourselves and feed Nigeria, and create financial progress and prosperity by agriculture.
“Not too long ago, we launched the Lagos State five-year Agricultural and Meals System Improvement Street Map, geared toward charting a centered and coordinated path for the specified growth of the sector.”
Sanwo-Olu mentioned the implementation of this 12 months’s intervention is geared toward consolidating ongoing formidable and decided efforts in the direction of the event and growth of your complete Lagos State agricultural sector.
“You’ll have seen that the programme has taken on a brand new format, completely different from what it was; and it has additionally undergone a change of identify, into the Agricultural Worth Chains Enterprise Activation Programme. We imagine this new identify will always remind beneficiaries that what we’re doing is definitely activating new enterprise ventures for them, which signifies that they have to reciprocate by working exhausting to nurture their companies to maturity. It’s only when right this moment’s beneficiaries succeed that the programme can stand the prospect of being sustainable.
“So, by placing in your greatest right this moment, and judiciously utilising the belongings entrusted to you, what you might be doing is opening doorways for extra individuals to profit tomorrow. You have been all chosen on advantage, so you might be clearly all individuals who can ship glorious outcomes with these gear and provides you might be receiving right this moment,” he mentioned.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Abisola Olusanya, who mentioned 13,976 individuals have benefitted because the programme began in 2014, defined that it was the federal government’s want to assist dedicated farmers nurture their companies into viable and mature agricultural enterprises by a deliberate monitoring and management mechanism.
Based on her, group accountability has been put in place to make sure the right utilisation of belongings, which has resulted within the collaboration with Ecobank for the fisheries worth chain, and the MSME Accountant Initiative of the Ministry of Finance for the Lagos Agripreneurship Programme (LAP) and Agricultural Youth Empowerment Scheme (Agric-YES) beneficiaries.
“These methods are along with the window of alternatives that can be created for youth engagement as articulated within the Lagos State Agricultural and Meals Techniques Roadmap within the subsequent 5 years.
“In the long term, it’s envisaged that these efforts, and lots of others within the agriculture ecosystem will allow the state transit from being a meals shopper to a significant meals producer, particularly in fisheries, piggery, poultry manufacturing and coconut worth chains, the place it has a powerful comparative and aggressive benefit,” Olusanya mentioned.
One of many beneficiaries, Omilani Oyegunle from Epe, who lauded the state authorities’s gesture, mentioned the state is on its technique to turning into enough in meals manufacturing, particularly with the supply of fishing boats to them to reinforce the fish worth chain within the state.
“That is price emulating by different states, particularly these within the Southwest. If farmers are empowered, we’ll be capable of produce what we eat and never depend on meals from the North. It is a good transfer in the direction of making Lagos self-sufficient in meals manufacturing.”
A member of the Pig Farmers Affiliation, David Ogunmuyiwa, who lamented that the pig worth chain was significantly impacted by zoonotic illness throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, mentioned the gesture would make them to bounce again from losses incurred throughout the interval.