Lagos State Government has once again restated its commitment to economic diversification through policy making and implementation targeted towards boosting the agricultural sector.
The Governor of Lagos State Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello disclosed this at the 2018 world Food Day Celebration noted that the theme of the celebration “Our Actions are our Future: A Zero Hunger World by 2030 is Possible’ brings to fore the urgent need for economic diversification through the development of Agricultural Initiatives in the various value chains.
“I wish to emphasize that the Lagos State government through the Ministry of Agriculture has developed agricultural initiatives aimed at addressing the need of diversifying the economy, the recent breakthrough in rice-agribusiness considering the collaboration between Lagos and Kebbi States on large production, processing and distribution of the LAKE Rice product has created a land mark in economic diversification”, he said.
He noted that a 32 metric tonnes per hour rice milling plant which will become operational next year has been acquired by the State government to ensure that Lagos meets up with the demand of its LAKE Rice product.
He added that Lagos is also collaborating with Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, and Ondo States in the area of rice production so as to ensure that adequate rice is supplied to the 32 metric tonnes per hour rice mill adding that the rice mill will provide over 200, 000 jobs across the rice value chain in the state.
Mr. Ambode stated further that the state has established an Agricultural Estate Initiative, promotion of vegetable production using greenhouse technology, cage and pen culture in fisheries production, strengthening of farm settlement initiative, empowerment of farmers are some other initiatives aimed at further improve agricultural development and sustainable food security in Lagos.
He added that the Ministry of Agriculture has established Community Based Processing Centers in three coconut producing communities namely, Ajido in Badagry, Magbon-Alade in Lekki and Irewe in Ojo.
“The Processing Centres have been equipped with modern facilities to reduce human dredgers. The rehabilitation of the coconut belt is presently on-going, this activity will protect the coast shore-line in order to attract more tourists to the State, as well as to provide improved and high yielding coconut seedlings to farmers”, the Governor said.
Ambode added that the state government recently launched the Eko Coconut bread to further enhance productivity in the coconut value chain in demonstration of the State’s commitment in diversifying the economy of the State.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Hon Oluwatoyin Suarau while delivering his welcome address stated that the government is ready to overcome all challenges threatening the availability of food in the State stressing that food production is a strategy government is using to tackle the issue of unemployment and encourage youth empowerment.
He added that government is always ready to avail farmers with modern trends in agricultural practices in the various value chain of agriculture.
While calling on stakeholders and investors especially those in the private sector to join hands with the government to boost food security, Suarau reiterated that the Lagos State government remains committed to ensuring that the state remains a food secured place.