- The Lagos state government is all out to revive its economy after the scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic
- This is why the government has rolled out a N245 million agricultural scheme for rural and urban farmers
- Farmers who are to benefit from the initiative are those into poultry, fish farming as well as piggery
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3,000 urban and rural farmers are to be beneficiaries of the new food sufficiency programme initiated by the Lagos state government under Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
In a statement made available to Legit.ng, Sanwo-Olu's chief press secretary, Gboyega Akosile, noted that the ongoing scheme is part of the administration’s five-year agricultural and food system development roadmap.
Akosile noted that the 2021 edition of the agricultural value chains enterprise activation programme focuses on women, youths, and peasant farmers.
He disclosed that beneficiaries were chosen through a merit-based system supervised by independent associations of farmers throughout Lagos.
The governor's spokesman explained that the initiative is targeted at reviving agripreneurs in poultry, piggery and artisanal fishery regarded as sub-sectors of the state's economy most hit by COVID-19.
He further disclosed that the governor's idea is to boost food production, processing, marketing, jobs creation and sustenance for farmers.
Quoting his principal, Akosile said:
“This 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, which is driven by a farm-to-table model that aligns with our goal of making Lagos a truly 21st century economy.
“We are determined to increase food production in the State from the current 20 per cent to at least 50 per cent by 2025 and this effort has been emboldened, given the observed disruption in the supply chain of food across the country as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the outbreak of zoonotic diseases.
“We have emerged wiser and more determined to succeed in creating and nurturing a viable agribusiness sector in Lagos. The State Government has put in place a strategy for the proper utilisation and continuous maintenance of the assets being donated to derive maximum value from them. We are also working with a financial institution regarding appropriate financing structures for the guaranteed sustainability of the programme.”
Among items already given to the beneficiaries were tractors, ploughs, fishing boats and gear, harvesters, threshers, destoning machines, defeathering machines, herbicides, fish juveniles, pig growers, smoking kilns, crates of eggs, and inputs
Food security: Buhari vows to take action against bandits
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari had promised Nigerians that his administration would employ all resources and manpower to deal with bandits whose activities are threatening the nation's food security.
Nigeria's leader made this vow when speaking with State House correspondents in Abuja after observing the Eid-el-Fitr prayers.
President Buhari stated:
“The law enforcement agencies are working hard to regain confidence against bandits so that we can go back to the land. This is very important."