LAGOS PLEDGES COMMITMENT TO ROADMAP ON FOOD SECURITY   

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Ms. Abisola Olusanya

The five-year agricultural food roadmap that was launched in 2021 by the Lagos State government will be implemented to achieve 40 per cent food self-sufficiency by 2025.

The state commissioner for agriculture, Abisola Olusanya reiterated stated this at the Lagos Food Systems Stakeholders’ Breakfast Meeting in Lagos.

Olusanya said the government would provide funds for agricultural service providers, improve rice paddy production and land bank collaboration with sister states.

She said: “We will go live on eight projects, which include Central Logistics Hub, Lagos Aquaculture Centre of Excellence (LACE), capacity building for horticulture stakeholders, full operations and capacity building for stakeholders in the Lagos Food Production Centres.

“Others are the execution of state-wide intervention and Green Wall Initiative”.

The Commissioner listed others as the establishment of the Agricultural Value Chains Enterprise Activation Programme, Agri-thon, Lagos Cares, Lagos Entrepreneurship Programme and the Lagos Agric Scholars Programme.

“The government will also create the Lagos Agrinnovation Clusters, the Food Value Chains’ Destination, the Lagos Central Food Security System and Logistics Hub and the Middle-Level Agro Product Hub”, she added.

She said part of the roadmap was to increase the production of the rice paddy in order to meet the growing rice consumption of the state.

The government, she noted, will increase the production of rice paddy by partnering with other sister states such as Niger and Kebbi states on land bank collaboration.

“The projects to be undertaken by the government includes Lagos Rice Mill, the Central Logistics Hub, – the Red Meat Initiative, the Lagos Feedlot System and the Butchers’ Academy, among others.

“The Ministry will set up the Lagos feedlot system, establish the Butchers’ Academy and create a last-mile meat shop”, she noted.

Also speaking, the special adviser to the governor on agriculture, Dr. Oluwarotimi Fashola said the government will require N50 billion to produce 100,000 tonnes of rice paddy in 2024.

Fashola said the Imota Rice Mill was able to produce 15,000 tonnes of rice paddy in 2023.

He said: “We started off with about 5,000 tonnes of paddy, and with the ingenuity of the team, we were able to partner with the Commodity and Exchange Board, bringing another close to 10,000 paddy for us to end the year.

“We were able to do roughly about 15,000 tonnes of paddy, which is over 120,000 bags of rice in 2023, but this year, we are hoping to do 100,000 tonnes of paddy.

“Last year, we started at about N200,000 per ton, but today, the cost of paddy is about N510,000 per ton.

“In other words, if we are going to do 100,000 tonnes per paddy, we will need N50 billion”.

In his remarks, chairman, House Committee on Agriculture, Emmanuel Olotu urged stakeholders to improve agricultural production in 2024.

He commended the Ministry for its contributions in heading the programme to allow them to collectively share the goals and projects for the year 2024.

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