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Lagos promises to boost agric production, marketing


Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Oluwatoyin Suarau

The Lagos State Government has promised to use the Agro-processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project to increase productivity, processing and marketing of agric value chain in the state.

Commissioner for Agriculture, Oluwatoyin Suarau, disclosed this during the APPEALS Project Advocacy/Interactive Session held at the Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.

APPEALS is a comprehensive six-year World Bank Assisted project aimed at supporting farmers and their linkage to markets, facilitating production and cottage processing. It also hopes to encourage farmers and small and medium businesses’ clustering and connection to infrastructure network and business services.

Currently being implemented in six states-Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, Kogi, Enugu and Cross Rivers, APPEALS is aimed at improving access to seed capital through grants; support to productivity enhancement through introduction of new technologies and agricultural inputs; improving access to infrastructure by supporting investment; building capacity of producer cooperatives through training and Technical Assistance, especially for targeted women and youth groups; facilitating market linkage throughout the growers scheme; and facilitating on-farm value addition by targeting limited number of value chains, and linking farmer to the supply chain.

The State Project Coordinator, Mrs. Oluranti Oviebo said the project is supporting the value chains of aquaculture, poultry and rice. She said the number of project direct beneficiaries for the state is estimated at 10,000 and 50,000 farm household members as direct beneficiaries.

“It is anticipated that 35 per cent of direct beneficiaries, (or 3,500 individuals) will be women. By design, the project has a dedicated sub-component to benefit women and youth that will allow them to develop agri-businesses that are expected to create jobs and improve their livelihoods.”

Represented by Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr. Olayiwole Onasanya, Suarau said agriculture will help the state to be 21st century economy, promising that the state will contribute its quota to the development of the sector.

In the Permanent Secretary’s welcome address, read by Mrs. Olatokunbo Emokpae, he said: “In order to achieve agricultural sustainability, the state government has been supporting Public-Private Partnership approach, hence the need for all of us to work together as partners in progress to achieve the project’s objective.”

In his speech, the National Project Coordinator, Dr. Amin Babandi, represented by the project’s Operations Officer, Dr. Salisu Garba noted that the project is building on the Commercial Agriculture Development Project (CADP), which ended two years ago, emphasising the need to critically look at the challenges faced during the implementation of CADP and improve on it.

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