LAGOS – Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos State Governor, has called on the private sector to take advantage of the untapped potentials in the State’s agricultural sector waiting to be harnessed, stating that there is huge potential in the State’s agricultural sector which boasts an annual revenue of N5trillion.
Sanwo-Olu made the call on Thursday while speaking at the flag-off of the distribution of productive assets and inputs to no fewer than 3000 women, youths and vulnerable Lagosians under the Y2021 Agricultural Value Chains Enterprise Activation Programme held at the Police College, Ikeja.
“I urge the private sector to take advantage of the huge potentials in Lagos State Agricultural sector which currently boasts of an estimated annual transactional value of five trillion naira,” the Governor said.
He said despite the numerous strides and gestures, the government alone would not be able to bring about the desired development in the sector hence the call for collaborations with the private sector.
“The Agricultural Value Chains Enterprise Activation Programme is a clear demonstration of the commitment of our administration to the development and expansion of the agricultural sector in Lagos State, especially with the available potential to enhance the quality of life and empowerment for the people.
“Indeed, our “farm to table” strategy in Lagos State has been as effective as other sectoral strategies in making Lagos a 21st century economy.
“Our determination to increase food production in the State from the current 20% to at least 50% of demand by 2025 has been emboldened with the disruption in the supply chain of food across the country as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and outbreak of zoonotic diseases. The Governor pointed out that the Programme would help reduce unemployment particularly since it would have domino effects on a beneficiary as for every one beneficiary, there would be a minimum of four indirect beneficiaries.
“Today, our administration is supporting 3000 women, youths and vulnerable Lagosians with 34 Boats (each boat is equipped with outboard engine, fish finder, nets and other fishing gear which will be given to a group of 20 youths each as a cooperative society).
“In actual fact, 680 of them are being activated -We are working with a financial institution to draw up a financing structure for these beneficiaries (fishermen) to be saving part of the proceeds from the operations of the boats as equity for increasing the fleet for them.
“190 youths and women are being supported with Fish Cages, fish juveniles, medication and fish feed; 300 Lagos Agripreneurship Trainees are being supported with Aquaculture/Poultry inputs/assets with an average value of N500,000 for aquaculture support and N2M for Poultry inputs per beneficiary;400 Pig Farmers are being supported with 1200 growers worth N48m. This is aimed at cushioning the ravaging effects of the African swine fever and Covid-19.
“Also, 50 units of smoking kilns (for 10 Fish processors/kiln) with 500 of them benefiting; other farmers (Women and youth – 217) with inputs for both aquaculture and poultry; market women (353 women/youth) empowered with 30 crates of eggs each valued at N50,000,” he averred.
Speaking earlier, the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya noted that since the inception of the Programme in 2014, a total of 13,976 beneficiaries have benefitted from the programme.
She explained that it was the desire of the government to help committed farmers to nurture their farming activities into viable and mature agricultural enterprises through a deliberate monitoring and control mechanism.
Olusanya noted that team accountability has been put in place in order to ensure the proper utilization of assets which has resulted in the collaboration with Ecobank for the fisheries value chain and the MSME Accountant Initiative of the State Ministry of Finance for the Lagos Agripreneurship Programme (LAP) and Agricultural Youth Empowerment Scheme (Agric-YES) beneficiaries.
Source: Daily Independent