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FG, Lagos sign $25 million pact on rice




About 400 farmers are presently being prepared for the rice planting season in Lagos State under the FADAMA III Additional Finance Project for which the Federal and Lagos State governments recently signed a $25 million US dollars agreement.

The State FADAMA Co-ordinator, Foluso Ajijola, said that FADAMA III Additional Financing (AF) was aimed at raising production and increasing income of farmers operating within the catchment of the selected states and other production areas engaged in priority staple foods, namely rice, cassava, sorghum, and horticulture in Kogi, Kano, Lagos, Niger, Enugu and Anambra states.

Lagos State has been selected for rice production under the current project because of the success stories of FADAMA parent projects, the co-operation of the state government in prompt payment of its counterpart funding of the projects, and the establishment of Eko Rice Mills by the state government at Imota-Ikorodu, with a capacity of 20, 000 metric tons per annum. According to Ajijola, FADAMA Task Team Leader, Dr. Adetunji Oredipe, and the National FADAMA Co-ordinator, Tayo Akinwunmi, and their teams, have already paid advocacy visits to Lagos State. Rice farmers, numbering about 400, and in about 15 production clusters and 35 production groups, have been sensitised at various fora by FADAMA.

The subsidiary financing agreement of $25 million US dollars has also been signed by the Lagos State, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operative, with the Federal Government.

At present, the rice farmers are involved in land preparation preparatory to planting, though some local governments have passed the stage now. The rice produced by the farmers, will be milled by the Lagos State-owned Rive Mills at Imota, which with its 20 tons capacity will serve Lagos and environs.

On the success of FADAMA III, the state Co-ordinator informed that many projects were started and completed: “Farmers were supported in the acquisition of productive assets and in their production lines. Equipment for fisheries, livestock, and crops were purchased to increase farmers’ activities and income” “Furthermore, fishing equipment, boats and engines were provided for fish farmers to be able to go to high sea fir fishing, while many of the groups acquired cold rooms to store and preserve their fishes.

One of them is the five tons cold room of Agbelere FCA in Eti Osa LG. We also have in Epe and other parts, while butchers have also been assisted with cold rooms and market reconstruction,” Ajijola added.

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