The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said that focusing on local food production would increase agricultural production that will meet the food needs of the State’s growing population, transform agriculture to commercial and export oriented production while at the same time generating employment especially for the youth.
He stated this while speaking in Badagry during an on-site inspection tour of the 279-hectares of land erstwhile Songhai Food Production Center to the Lagos Food Production Center Badagry.
“I have been fully briefed about this project but I considered it necessary to personally embark on this journey to Badagry in order to take assessment and see what exactly we need to do in terms of intervention.
“After taking a tour of the project site, what I observed is that the entire project looks more as a job that has not been completed. Therefore, we need to improve on the interventions to the Ministry of Agriculture.
“With very minimal resources, we have seen what the Ministry has done to keep the project afloat. Government will raise the resources and turn around this project to the level it should be.
He added, “We will need to deploy more resources to revive and scale up all the machinery and systems already put in place. We will complete the project and open it for commercial production”.
He explained that some of the agricultural projects to be developed for commercial production in the Center include fishing, poultry, piggery and agro-forestry among others.
Sanwo- Olu averred that apart from delivering wholesome food items and training and creating employment for youths, the Center would also provide competitive inputs/raw materials for the Agro-Industry, provide new environmental products and services, and provide feed stock for renewable energy supply.
Speaking further he noted that the project would give rise to similar agro-allied businesses that would open up Badagry’s economy for more growth while also boosting its tourism business.
Some of the objectives of the Center according to him include; production that delivers sufficient quantities of safe whole-some food items that assist in disease prevention, healthy living and healthy aging.
Others are providing improved livelihood for the unemployed youths; reduction of dependency on other States to supply the food and fibre to be consumed by Lagosians; complementing the productivity of the ageing farmers which could not sustain or move the State to a comfortable level of self-sufficiency in food production.
“Lagos is a big State in terms of population, but we also can intervene in our food production value chain. What we are also trying to do with the revival of the project is that, we want to produce various agricultural products we can consume internally in order to reduce our dependence on external food sources