The Lagos State Government has taken a significant step in enhancing food security by inaugurating two agro-processing centres in the Ikorodu area of the state. Ms. Abisola Olusanya, the Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, called for partnership and support from farmers, particularly poultry farmers, to reduce the importation of chickens and other food items.
The newly inaugurated projects include a Cottage Broiler Processing Centre located in Itamaga and an Egg Aggregation Centre in Erikorodo, Ikorodu. These initiatives were facilitated by the Lagos Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project.
Commissioner Olusanya emphasised the commitment of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration to ensuring food security in Lagos State. She stressed the importance of supporting Nigeria’s agricultural food chain and farming community to meet the demands of Lagos, the most populous state in Nigeria.
The commissioner highlighted the positive impact of the Lagos APPEALS Project, which has benefited thousands of farmers in the state, particularly in the aquaculture, poultry, and rice value chains. She affirmed the state government’s intention to collaborate with farmers in various sectors and clusters to address the needs of Lagosians while providing substantial support to local farmers.
In her words, “The focus of the government is on establishing the right food system and market infrastructure to empower farmers to create the right commodities for exchange, thereby addressing price fluctuations and price fixation. We import more than we export. We consume from outside more than we produce internally. We need to support the agricultural food system of Nigeria and the farmers at large. We need to support farmers to produce enough to cater to the needs of Nigerians and Lagosians, which is why Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu believes in the food actors.”
Mrs. Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo, the Lagos State Coordinator of the APPEALS Project, explained that these agro-processing centres were established based on a needs assessment aimed at improving farmers’ productivity. The broiler processing centre is expected to address issues related to foreign exchange in chicken importation and reduce local production costs.
Farmers were encouraged to make the best use of the facilities provided by the Lagos APPEALS Project. Mrs. Ibitoye Juliana, Chairperson of the Erikorodo Poultry Estate Farmers Association, expressed her gratitude for the road network improvement in the Erikorodo Estate, which has had a positive impact on their businesses.
Mr. Bartholomew Akhigbe, Chairman of the Cluster group, praised the processing centre for its potential to boost productivity and assist farmers in their efforts to phase out imported chicken. He commended the Lagos APPEALS Project for its support in enhancing productivity.
In addition to the inaugurated agro-processing centres, Commissioner Olusanya also presided over the inauguration of the Eko Farmers APPEALS Cooperative Multipurpose Society and Frozen Catfish Cottage Industry. The APPEALS Project further provided support to the Lagos State Catfish Farmers Association of Nigeria, offering blast freezers, deep freezers, and generators to boost farmers’ productivity and ensure food security in the state.