Fresh Food Hub Will Address Challenges Facing Food Security – Sanwo – Olu

Kunle Adelabu

The Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo – Olu, has said that the newly commissioned middle-level Fresh Food Agro hub is a major step in achieving food security in the state.

Sanwo – Olu stated that the facility, which is the first in the State, heralded a turning point in Lagos food distribution system and modernisation of existing markets, adding that the initiative will address the inefficiencies in the existing market structures.

At the commissioning of the hub at Idi – Oro in Mushin, on Sunday, the Governor also announced that plans are underway to replicate the same facility in Agege, Ajah and Abule Ado, while he charged other council areas in the state to make lands available for the purpose.

“This formal commissioning of a middle-level Agro Produce hub in Idi Oro, Mushin, is another milestone towards achieving our food security objectives. This facility, which is the first in the State, heralds a turning point in the State food distribution system”, he said.

“This transformation journey is hinged on our five-year Agricultural Food System Roadmap, which reflects our passionate commitment to boosting food production, processing and marketing.

“The roadmap sets the stage for direct intervention, strategic collaboration and establishment of linkages with the private sector, financial institutions, foreign investors and multilateral agencies. Our food system are categorised into the Central Logistics Hub, Mid-level Agro-produce Hub, and the Last Mile Food Distribution outlets.

Mr Babajide Sanwo – Olu, Governor, Lagos State interacting with traders at after the commissioning of the Fresh Food Agro hub at Idi – Oro, Mushin on Sunday. With the Governor, Honourable Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Bisola Olusanya.

“Inefficiencies observed in the existing market system made it imperative to address the central problem of the food supply systems.

Mr Governor said that the initiative will reorganize and assist the state in collection data for proper planning.

“These efforts have continued to yield the desired result in increased food production. The middle-level Agro Produce hub will pave the way for the modernisation, reorganisation and presentation of state-of-the-art data-driven food and agriculture systems where players and actors in the marketing chain interact freely. This will also address prevailing market challenges of inadequate infrastructure, food shortage, high degree of fragmentation and standardization”, he said.

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The Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, speaking earlier, said that the hub will bring about proper and efficient food management in Lagos and Nigeria by extension.

She also stated that the initiative will curb certain linkages, provide necessary facilities and give residents of Lagos, a good market experience.

“This will bring about food transformation agenda for Lagos State and by default, Nigeria”, she said.

“It is part of Mr Governor’s food transformation agenda and this is a very simple and logical agenda. What we have here is a a middle – level food hub. This is a kind of market we should have sited all over local governments in Lagos and Nigeria.

“The idea around it is decentralization of procurement of items from far and wide markets; how do we start to centralized storage for wet and dry goods; how do we start to reduce the need for logistics such that it reduces transportation requirement; how do we reduce the number of traffic that emanate on our roads as a result of the numbers of trucks that move tro and fro Lagos and how also do we ensure that power consumption in such that economic of scale kick in?”, she asked rhetorically.

“How do we ensure that our farmers far and near are able to produce based on demands and adequately before – hand and ensure that they maximize some profits; how do we ensure that our market women are also utilizing the economics of scale to come together and by as a large group and therefore able to ensure that they sell to consumers and give them at the right price considering that they have the right storage facility in place and make maximum profits.

“The bottom line, how do we ensure that our consumers are buying fresh awesome food at the right price, in the right location and even with the impetus that they are coming for a wonderful shopping experience in a safe environment that carter for their needs and makes it a joy even for their children to be part of the shopping experience.

“That is the entirety of what this shopping mall is all about. When you add that up to the larger picture which is the construction of the logistic food hub in Epe which is also been pioneer by the Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo – Olu, it speaks to the fact that this is the right way to go for us as a country to ensure that food security is taking care of”, she said.

In her own remarks, Iyaloja of Mushin, Alhaja Taibat Borokinni, who later led traders to the Governor to show their appreciation for the completion of the market and the palliative scheme, said that the initiative will benefit common people.

“It is our turn today to benefit from the good initiative introduced by our Governor to improve our markets. This gesture is the reciprocation of our support for Governor. We have never regretted our decision and we will support other initiatives being taken to better the lives of market men and women.”

Member representing Mushin Federal Constituency 2, Hon. Toyin Fayinka, thanked the Sanwo-Olu for seeing to the completion of the market project. He said Mushin became the first council to make the food security vision of the Governor, a reality.

“This is a wake up call to other Local Governments to give chance to projects like this in their domains in order to support food security agenda of the State Government,” Fayinka said.

At the commissioning were the the First Lady, Dr. Ibironke Sanwo – Olu, Deputy Governor, Lagos State, Dr Oabfemi Hamzat, Head of Service, Mr Agoro, as well as traditional rulers, leaders of the All Progressives Congress and many other eminent personalities.

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