Lagos State Government Restates Support For Agripreneurs

Lagos State government has restated its commitment to provide a conducive ambience for agripreneurs within the Agric ecosystem in the State to thrive.
This assurance comes as the Ministry of Agriculture kicked off a training for another batch of the Lagos state agripreneurship Programme, LAP held at the Agricultural Training Institute Araga, Epe.
LAP is a four-month Agricultural training programme that involves a 30-day on-site intensive training in poultry, aquaculture, vegetable and piggery, followed by a three-month internship with selected farm companies in the State.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 20th edition of the programme, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya said that the essence of the programme is to create an army of young minds that will replace the ageing farmer population.
Olusanya who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Emmanuel Fatai Audu explained that it is a commitment by the State government to drive youth inclusive policies, programs and projects in agriculture while securing food systems and addressing unemployment.
“Lagos is heavily reliant on other states to meet its food needs and to a large extent we need to increase capacity to improve on local food production so to sustain the State and how better can we do this than having young, energetic, and dynamic people who will take up the opportunities in food production and later move into processing, logistics, distribution, and the entire gamut of activities within agricultural value chains in the state”
“LAP project is designed to have 200 people per batch for the program which invariably means for the LAP 19 that we have done, we have trained about 3,800 and we expect that additional 200 for this very batch to come in for the program.” she said
She maintained that since the inception of the program in 2020 by the administration of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, all the participants have been trained free of charge.
The Commissioner also affirmed that the State has put in place a follow-up mechanism to monitor past beneficiaries of the program which according to her has yielded significant success.
According to her “Our success story is that up to LAP 17, the assessment we have done indicates that 70 percent of the trainees have gone on to establish farms on their own, many of them are operating in this institute because government has provided them with the land to engage in production, in aquaculture, poultry, crop farming among others.
“We expect that at the end of the programme, we will attach them to a well established commercial farms for them to see the possibilities in agriculture. Some of them were employed within those farms, while others moved on after the internship and mentorship to establish their own businesses within the Agric space. Some who are aggregators buy from others, process, package and sell to clients within and outside of the state, and the programme also entails social media marketing which is an emerging trends.”
Consistent support
In her welcome address, the Director, Agricultural Training Institute, Mrs Folake Ogunlana-Lawal acknowledged the support of the government towards the programme and other Agric-based initiatives by the state government.
Ogunlana-Lawal mentioned that the programme is an initiative that allows for the fundamental principle of a learning by doing that created enabling environment for the participants to upscale their knowledge on Agriculture value chains and Araga Epe, provides the training which is a first step in any business engagement to provide requisite knowledge for any Agric startups in the state.
She added that the training institute has been at the forefront to train agripreneurs that have received world class training towards adding value to the agricultural space and ensuring that the farming community does not decline.
Good initiative
Participants at the event lauded the initiative aimed at up-skilling them with training that will enhance their reservoir of knowledge and expose them to the economics of agriculture that will allow them to contribute to the state economy, make them employable and employers of labour.
Other past trainees of the programme who attended the ceremony relished their experiences after the training that has established and connected them to finance and markets.

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