Food Security: Lagos to activate Agric Mechanization Programme
Luqmon Balogun, Lagos
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu says the State Government would soon commence a mechanization programme, tagged the “Eko Agro Mechanization Programme” with the procurement of 14 brand new tractors and ancillary equipment for farmers in the State.
Governor Sanwo-Olu who gave this indication at the grand finale of this year World Food Day Celebration in the State explained that the programme is part of efforts towards achieving food security in the State.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Hakeem Adeniji, the Governor noted that the programme would also ensure that more lands are put to use to achieve the purpose.
“As part of efforts towards achieving our food security objective through putting more land to use and increase the economic contribution in the State through agricultural mechanization, we shall soon, commence a Mechanization Programme, tagged the “Eko Agro Mechanization Programme” with the procurement of Fourteen (14) brand new tractors and ancillary equipment for farmers in the State.
“This equipment shall be utilized under the operational model known as Tractor-On-the-Go (TOG).” he said
Governor Sanwo-Olu stressed that State Government would also improve on existing agricultural infrastructure in some rural farming communities and ensure it reconnects agricultural value chain actors with input and output markets.
He however stressed that water and sanitary facilities shall also be upgraded in 69 wet markets across the State under the “LAGOS CARES” Programme with a view to reassuring safety in these markets.
Sanwo-Olu noted that this programme is expected to impact no fewer than 15,000 households as well as create not less than 25,000 jobs for agripreneurs thereby making significant contributions to the State food basket that will bring farmers back on the path of economic recovery post COVID-19 pandemic.
“From this year, the Federal Government through the State FADAMA Development Office domiciled in the Ministry of Agriculture will be providing a relief package, though minimal to existing poor and vulnerable farmers and processing groups under the World Bank assisted Covid-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus tagged “NG CARES””Programme to assist poor households with farm inputs.
“Production and processing assets, as well as, hands-on training on enhanced management practices and advisory services. This shall boost individual enterprise productivity, increase yields and improve food security status in the State.
“Based on the above, we shall improve on existing agricultural infrastructure in some rural farming communities to reconnect agricultural value chain actors with input and output markets.
“To reassure safety in our markets, water and sanitary facilities shall also be upgraded in 69 wet markets across the State under the “LAGOS CARES” Programme.
“It is worth mentioning that this programme is expected to impact about 15.000 households and make significant contributions to the State food basket which will bring our farmers back on the path of economic recovery post COVID-19 pandemic. The Programme shall create not less than 25,000 jobs for agripreneurs,” Governor said
He added that the State Government would also consider the establishment of “Agritech Centre” at the Dairy Farm Complex, Agege to fast track the development of smart solutions leading to increased agricultural productivity and to diversify the economy.
Sanwo-Olu also reiterated the State Government’s commitment to intensify her drive to support farmers, encourage small and medium scale agro-processors and create an enabling environment for private sector involvement in agriculture.
Promoting food security
The Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya mentioned that it is expedient to continue to emphasize the need for food security across the globe in order to promote global awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger, as well as, highlight the need to ensure healthy diets for all.
Olusanya who spoke through the Director, Agric Services, Mrs. Abiola Ayoade noted that the year edition of the World Food Day Celebration has been enhanced with series of activities during the week-long celebration which culminated in the grand finale.