By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A total of 2,691 farmers and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) were directly supported by the Lagos State government with physical inputs and equipment for poultry, rice and aquaculture.
Agriculture Commissioner Abisola Olusanya speaking this weekend during the support mission for the pre-7th implementation of the agribusiness support project, the improvement of Productivity and Livelihoods (APPEALS) in Agege, added that approximately 3,516 stakeholders have also indirectly benefited from the program.
She also said that 1,621 women and youth empowerment beneficiaries have been trained and their implementation is underway, while around 8,000 farmers have received training and technology demonstrations with strong evidence of a positive effect on the development objective of the project.
Ms. Olusanya explained that the administration of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has supported this project because of its commitment to food security and the productivity of farmers in the state, as agriculture remains one of the main drivers of sustainable economic growth.
According to her, food security can be achieved in Lagos and Nigeria in general through the application of technological advancements and, above all, through personal commitment for a better Nigeria.
She revealed that the state government is exploring and investing in using innovation and technology to create competitive advantage in ensuring Lagos achieves a 21st century economy.
She instructed the APPEALS project to continue to contribute enormously to the achievement of the project objective of improving the agricultural productivity of small and medium-sized farmers and improving added value along the selected priority value chains, namely the poultry, aquaculture and rice in Lagos State.
“The Lagos State Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, is providing maximum support to the project by ensuring that the contributions of these value chains to food security, local production, the improvement of livelihoods as well as the creation of export markets are supported.
“A total of 2,691 farmers and SMEs were supported directly with physical inputs and equipment in the poultry, rice and aquaculture sectors, while 3,516 stakeholders benefited indirectly. In addition, 1,621 women and youth empowerment beneficiaries have been trained and their empowerment implementation is underway. About 8,000 farmers received training and technology demonstrations with strong evidence of a resulting positive effect on the development objective of the project.
“The State, under the leadership of the Governor, has remained in favor of the APPEALS project as with other donor / World Bank supported projects in the State through regular payments of matching contributions,” said Commissioner.
Ms. Olusanya also commended the Lagos APPEALS project team for improving the productivity of farmers in Lagos State, stating that “the State Steering Committee (SSC) and State Technical Committee ( STC) have exercised their oversight functions ensuring that the ongoing project implementation and our interaction with project stakeholders with a level of interventions through monitoring has so far been satisfactory. However, Lagos State, being the State of Excellence, always strives to be better.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Hakeem Adeniji, who is the chairman of the state technical committee of the APPEALS project, said that the implementation of the project has received great support from the governor.
The national coordinator of the APPEALS project, Mr. Mohammed Sanni Jobdi, who was represented by Dr Salisu Garba, said that the project at the national level is encouraged by what the Lagos APPEALS project is doing.
He also congratulated the APPEALS Project Coordinator for Lagos State, Ms. Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo and her team for responding to the aspirations and aspirations of thousands of farmers in line with the objectives of the Support Project for agro-processing, improving productivity and livelihoods.
Ms Sagoe-Oviebo said the APPEALS project has had an impact on lives and boosted the productivity of farmers in Lagos State, applauding Mr Sanwo-Olu, the Commissioner for Agriculture, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, the national coordination office of the APPEALS project and other major stakeholders for their commitment to ensuring the success of the Lagos APPEALS project.