Lagos State Government Vows to Sustain APPEALS Project

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The Lagos State government has pledged to continue to support the Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement & Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project in the state, even after the completion of the partnership with the World Bank.

During a visit to the State Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, by the delegations of the World Bank, Federal Ministry of Finance, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and National Coordination Unit of the APPEALS Project, Dr. Hamzat assured them that the project was successful in the state.

Over 10,000 people have seen positive effects in areas such as farming, fishing, and food processing due to Hamzat’s work. This has also led to the reorganization of markets and other benefits.

The Deputy Governor assured that even though the project was nearing completion, the State Government would continue to support it to ensure that existing beneficiaries are not left out and new beneficiaries can be included.

“The APPEALS Project has been very successful in the state, over 10,000 people have benefited across different levels; farming, fishing, food processing and amongst others, and all these have led to the realignment of markets and other values have been benefited in the state.

“Though the project is coming to an end, the state government will sustain it, we are here to discuss the exit plan and hence the state will now find a way to keep it up, sustain the legacy, to make sure that beneficiaries don’t face off and how to push-in new beneficiaries into it,” he said.

Hamzat highlighted the success of the APPEALS project, which was implemented across six states: Lagos, Enugu, Cross River, Kano, Kaduna and Kogi state.

He noted that the collaboration had improved the processing ability and agricultural credentials of Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole. He reported that the yield per hectare of land has increased from 1.5 to 2.5 tons for both rice and the local rice variety, Ofada.

He stated that the APPEALS project would be supported by the government, as it was working in collaboration with the World Bank, and that maintaining the APPEALS project would bring Lagos in line with global trends. Mrs. Oluranti Sagoe, the Lagos State Project Coordinator for APPEALS, stated that the project consists of five components in the state, such as the productivity of farmers with three value chains, namely poultry, aquaculture, and rice; support for women and youths; and infrastructure.

According to her, the productivity of broiler production among farmers in the state had increased from 1.8 to 2.5 within six weeks, while egg production also saw growth due to the implementation of egg powder technology.

The Director of Fisheries in Lagos State noted that significant progress has been made through the project in terms of development in the Aquaculture sector.

Particularly, Tilapia Fish encaged culture has been promoted in Afowo and Epe water bodies, with over 180 cages constructed in these two areas.

She noted that the project was intended to benefit 700 women and youths initially, but the results exceeded expectations – 1,786 women and youths were impacted, thanks to the support of the Lagos State government, which helped to build capacities.

“Capacities have been built through the support gotten from the Lagos State government. Out of which 1,738 of the beneficiaries have been supported with inputs that have made them gainfully employed and have also made them employers of labour presently,” she said.

Mrs. Eze Ihuoma, the Enugu State Project Coordinator for APPEALS, remarked that the project had been highly effective in the state as it has generated employment opportunities for women and youths.

Furthermore, it has improved the livelihood of farmers through the use of technology and inputs, thus significantly increasing agricultural production.

“The project is already transforming agriculture in the state, the APPEALS project is very satisfactory across the state, from the feedback we are having, it has been a lot of success,” she said.

In his statement, Dr. Manievel Sene, the Head of the APPEALS Project from the World Bank, mentioned that the project aims to enhance the productivity and handling of farmers in specific states to ensure food security in the nation.

He pointed out that the project had resulted in considerable training, technology dissemination, and investment in capacity-building.

Dr. Sene noted that there are key elements that illustrate the progress made in different states.

These elements include strategies for scaling up, states taking ownership, and exit plans following successful APPEALS Scores that are critical to the World Bank.

Agro Nigeria / Foluke Ibitomi

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