COVID-19: FG Boosts Food Production for Lagos Farmers

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By Rebecca Ejifoma

As part of palliative measures to boost the economy and aid food production in the state, the federal government has donated 450 tons of maize to the Poultry Association Farmers of Nigeria, Lagos State chapter.

The 450 tons of maize, according to the association, is equivalent 4,200 bags in 15 trailers of 50kg maize in the field production for their chickens.

While receiving the consignment at the Agricultural Development Authority (ADA) in Agege Lagos, the state Chairman of Poultry Association, Mr. Godwin Egbegbe, described the gesture as emulative for other states to follow.

Egbegbe added: “The Lagos State Government has done the needful by giving out this to the right people. We want to appreciate the federal government for looking towards our direction.

“We thank the governor for this opportunity, and the former commissioner now a traditional ruler and his team and the acting commissioner for working assiduously to ensure these things come to the farmers. We are the farmers.”

On behalf of the association, the chairman pledged that they would use the products judiciously given that “maize has been going up because of the bandits that have been terrorising the northern states”.

He further enjoined the federal government to also look towards that direction in tackling the bandits from disturbing the farmers.

He implored other states to follow the footsteps by Lagos and ensure the seeds get to the farmers.

“My friends in other states have been asking how it came about. The FG gave to every state, and Lagos State has done the needful.

“I want to appeal to other states’ governments or governors to do same so that things will be good for Nigerians,” he added.

Meanwhile, Egbegbe decried that their famers suffer on the roads, especially on the Badagry Expressway.

He said, “Raw materials cannot go there and Epe, too. The Epe farmers produce over 47 crates of eggs daily but majority of the eggs get broken before they get to the market. This is because the road is terrible. Government should look towards that direction”.

Also speaking, the association’s Programme Manager/CEO, Dr. Olalekan Sheteolu, said: “We thank the federal government for looking in the direction of Lagos State especially of our farmers by supplying us free of charge maize as palliative measures”.

Continuing, Sheteolu noted that the consignment of maize would assist the farmers in field production for their poultry, adding that they have started giving out to farmers.

“This is a palliative measure to the farmers because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The farmers have actually suffered.

“There was a time we had a head glut. They produced eggs, but there was nowhere to sell it to because there was a lockdown, most of the eggs got spoilt.”

While bemoaning that some of the farmers suffered losses in their poultry estates, the manager said the palliative is a comeback for them.

“It is going to boost production. If this is done in other states, you could see the price of eggs coming down or at least, stabilising to what it was, if not better, before the pandemic”.

Speaking also, the Epe Zonal Chairman, PAN, Folasade Gam-Ikon, called on the state government to help them fix the deplorable state of the road to restore cash flow.

Her words: “From Ibeju-Lekki to T-Junction where we have majority of poultry and other farmers, the road is in a very terrible state. I went to the farm on Sunday thinking that the trucks on the road would be minimal. I spent three hours between Sangotedo and the T-Junction.

“At one point, we had to take a bush route to get to Epe. I just want to seek the attention of the government to help with the state of the road. Although we heard in the news a while ago that the Lagos State government commissioned the road, we are yet to see any work there”.

Folasade, however, supported the quote of the chairman who said over 45,000 crates of eggs produced daily are from Epe. “We have the data. By the time we get to the markets, buyers complain that most of the eggs are cracked”.

She further recalled a video clip that went viral. “That video is from Epe zone. We have farmers throwing away eggs not because there is glut but because people are not coming through that route to Epe. It will be difficult for people in Ajah to go through Ikorodu to come to Epe.”

To restore the cash flow whilst boosting the economy, the Epe chairperson implored the government, “to do something about the road. It is biting hard. It is affecting our cash flow and the economy”.

Caption; The State Chairman of Poultry Association, Mr. Godwin Egbegbe; and the Programme Manager/CEO, Dr. Olalekan Sheteolu at the presentation of the 450 tons of maize palliative from the federal government to poultry farmers in Lagos State