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Lagos unfolds projects to shore up food security status to 40%

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The Lagos State Government has unfolded various agricultural projects to shore up food security status and  ensure sustainability.

The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Gbolahan Lawal, made the disclosure on Thursday while rendering accounts of activities undertaken by the ministry in the last one year.

The event was to commemorate the first year anniversary of the Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration.

According to him, the agricultural projects will  quickly shore up the food security status of the state from 18 per cent to 40 per cent.

He listed some of the projects to include Songhai Project now Avia Food Production Centre, Araga Food Production Centre, establishment of one tonne-per-hour fish feed mill (extruder system) and establishment of wholesale produce market.

Others include establishment of strategic food reserve, completion and inauguration of the 32 metric tonnes-per-hour rice mill at Imota,  optimal utilisation of farm settlements and estates.

Empowerment of Lagos Agriprenurship Programme graduates and establishment of 160-hectare feedlot at Imota, are part of the projects.

The commissioner said that the current situation of food security in the state had been impacted by lessons from the coronavirus pandemic, a situation that made deliberate efforts and policy formulation by the state  government imperative.

He said that the efforts and policy formulation by the government had prepared it adequately for future events that might want to test the food reserve and supply system of the state.

“In line with the Five-Year Agricultural Development Road Map earlier developed by the ministry of agriculture that highlighted intervention areas to boost productivity along the value chains where the state has comparative advantages, this pandemic has brought to fore the need to shore up quickly.

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“We need to shore up the food security status of the state with a goal to scaling it up to 40 per cent in order to prevent another kind of pandemic in the form of food scarcity.

“This, therefore, calls for deliberate efforts and policy formulation on the part of government in order to prepare for future events that may want to test the food reserve and supply system of the state.

“The ministry is, therefore, to embark on some of these projects in the course of the year to shore up the food security status of the state,” Lawal said.

The official said that the projects would increase agricultural production that would meet the food needs of the state’s growing population and transform agriculture to commercial and export-oriented production.

He said the state would essentially focus on boosting local food production and employment generation especially for the youth.

Lawal added that the projects would  provide training facilities for agriprenuers, youths, women and students in agricultural schemes, and promote efficient distribution systems for agricultural produce through wholesale, retail and distribution channels.

He said they would also provide good storage facilities for a purposeful food as well as generate more revenues.

“The objectives of these projects include boosting local food production, creating employment opportunities especially for the youth, and providing training facilities for agripreneurs, youths, women and students in agricultural schemes.

“It will also promote efficient distribution systems for agricultural produce through wholesale, retail and distribution channels; provide good storage facilities for a purposeful food reserve and generate more revenue for the state,” he said.

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Lawal assured that the state government would continue to intensify efforts in the agricultural space especially where it  had comparative ecological and socio- economic advantages. (NAN)

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