Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has reiterated the commitment of the State Government towards changing the face of the various agricultural estates and farm settlements in the State in order to boost production and encourage youth participation in agriculture.
Sanwo-Olu who disclosed this yesterday at the maiden edition of the Ecobank Agribusiness Summit held in Lagos noted that efforts have already started towards achieving this goal through the recently concluded appraisal of the current state of these estates.
He pointed out that the focus of the State Government is geared towards developing agricultural value chains in which Lagos has comparative advantages with a view to ensuring that the State attains self-sufficiency in food production from the current 18% to 40% by 2025.
“Towards achieving these goals, the State, through the Ministry of Agriculture, has prepared a strategic plan to collaborate and partner with stakeholders in policy review, formulation and implementation, database collation and upgrade; capacity building with special focus on youths and women; public private partnership to establish processes to sustain agricultural productivity in fisheries, poultry, piggery, red meat, coconut, rice and vegetables by adopting appropriate technologies in line with global best practices,” Sanwo-Olu averred.
The Governor who was represented by his Special Adviser on Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya explained that the State Government was also collaborating with development partners like the World Bank to implement various agric-based projects in the State stressing that the Agro Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Support Project (APPEALS) is one of such projects which would empower no fewer than 10,000 farmers in the State in the next four years.
“All these initiatives and several others being promoted by this administration are meant to encourage private sector participation in the agric sector. It is very important that we pay special attention to the agricultural value chain because it is only through the value chain that we can maximize the potentials in the sector,” the Governor opined.
Sanwo-Olu explained that the importance of this value chain cannot be over emphasized as it is the value chain that produces entrepreneurs who transform the primary produce into secondary and finished products through the activities of small scale industries hence it was important for the State Government to focus on this value chain.
He commended the management of Ecobank Nigeria for initiating the Agribusiness Summit stressing that any gathering of stakeholders in the agric sector would indeed add value to the ongoing efforts at transforming the sector through the development of new ideas and perspectives.
The Governor also commended the Bank for demonstrating its commitment with the N70 billion financing scheme in support of the growth and development of the agric sector and by extension, the nation’s economy just as he hoped that the outcome of the Summit would go a long way in facilitating the transformation process of agric sector in Nigeria.
Photo: Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
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