All is now set for the maiden edition of the Eko City market, an initiative of the Lagos state government.
The initiative will kick off on Sunday, February 23 at the Tafawa Balewa Square(TBS), Lagos Island.
Prince Gbolahan Lawal, the State Commissioner for Agriculture, while addressing newsmen in his office described ‘Eko City Farmers’ Markets’ as a platform where the best of Lagos producers will meet with consumers and end-users by using the traditional and innovative development methods to showcase a well organised high-quality market to meet the consumers’ ever- increasing demand for farm produce.
Lawal stated that after the maiden edition on Sunday, the programme will subsequently hold every last Sunday of every month, stressing that the market would help the rebuilding of the local food economies by providing a cost-effective, retail sales prospect for local food producers in Lagos State and across Southwestern states.
“The notable objectives of the Eko City Farmers’ Market are to provide Lagosians access to a wide variety of fresh, local, in-season farm products direct from the producers; to make Lagos the most desirable destination for businesses with direct socio- economic impact and beneficial returns.
“It is also an avenue to further champion regional integration through composite economic development, leveraging on the existing relationship with the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission to coordinate the participation of other states,” the Commissioner explained.
He added that the market would also provide an informal social gathering place in an open-air setting for the community where the market is situated as well as demonstrate environmental stewardship.
Lawal listed some of the benefits of the Market to farmers to include the provision of infrastructure to support farmers to create a flourishing market in a trading environment that is well maintained, safe and innovative as well as connecting them to the final end-users thus make shopping an entertaining and educational experience.
He noted that the central location of the market makes it easily reachable by public transport as its proximity to the BRT corridor further complements Lagosians’ ease of accessibility and also makes it easy for farmers and primary producers to supply volumes of food appropriate for customers whether they are single shoppers or a family.
“Each of the market days shall be dedicated to a southwestern states; offering her the opportunity to display those produce/ products she is identified with in terms of production and such edition shall be called Lagos/Oyo day, Lagos/Ogun day, among others, as the case may be thereby promoting regional integration.
“In addition to the above, we shall also be dedicating any market day that falls within any of the festive periods such that we shall be having the Easter, Ileya, Ramadan and Christmas editions,” he said.