Says MoU with Kebbi on rice production on course
Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Toyin Suarau, on Tuesday reiterated the resolve of the state government to increase the aggregate food supply of the state from less than 15 per cent to 25 per cent within the next four years through various projects and programmes.
Suarau who said this at the ongoing ministerial press briefing to commemorate the first year in office of the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode-led administration in Lagos, noted that the aggregate food supply internally is less than 15 per cent of total food consumption but added that the state is poised to increase this to 25 per cent within the next four years.
The commissioner said the ministry intends to host a world-class food security summit with the aim of attracting organsations that seek to partner with the state government in the realisation of the food security agenda and to redress the food security challenges of the state.
This, according to him, will unlock the agricultural potentials in the state which will ultimately open up employment and investment opportunities with improved social welfare.
He said the state has continued to intensify efforts in the agricultural areas where it has comparative ecological and socio-economic advantages, despite its highly industrialised status, population density and pressure on land for non-agricultural purposes.
These areas, according to him, include “fisheries, livestock and vegetable production as well as agro-processing with emphasis on value addition.”He said as part of effort to increase food supply and ensure food security in Lagos State, the state government through the Ministry of Agriculture is vigorously implementing the state’s strategic food security plan with programmes and projects that have remarkable impact on food security in the state.
According to him, some of the programmes and projects intensified in the last one year include; collaboration between Lagos and Kebbi States for the development of agricultural commodities like rice, wheat, ground-nut, onions, maize/sorghum and beef value chains; Agric Youth Empowerment Scheme (AGRIC-YES) Araga, Epe; and continued establishment of infrastructural facilities at Songhai-Avia, Badagry under the Agricultural Youth Empowerment Scheme.
Highlighting the achievement of the state government in the agriculture sector, Suarau said that the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Lagos and Kebbi States to establish a Joint Venture using Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) LASKEB Agricultural Production and Marketing Company (LAPMCO) on the development of commodity such as rice, wheat, ground-nut, onions, maize/sorghum and beef which took place on March 23, 2016 is geared towards increasing food supply and ensuring food security.
He explained that the state government has continued to address the various challenges facing agriculture in the state such as declining land for agricultural activities, encroachment by land speculators as well as promoting the utilisation of agricultural land for its intended purposes, adding that the Agriculture Ministry has intensified the establishment of additional farm estates in Eluju-Mowo and Igbodu respectively through Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.
He revealed that the Ministry intends to set up two major Abattoirs at Epe and Ojo Local Government Areas in addition to the one at Oko Oba, adding that the development of mini modernised abattoirs in five approved locations of Ilaje- Bariga, Ikorodu, Agbowa, Matori and Oto- Awori through PPP arrangement has commenced.