Lagos Agric Ministry Unveils 2024 Agenda, Reiterates Commitment To Food Security

Kunle Adelabu

Ms. Abiola Olusanya, Honourable Commissioner for Agric, Lagos State (standing left), Mr Mosopefolu George, Honourable Commissioner for Economic, Planning and Budget (2nd left), Hon. Emmanuel Olootu, Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture (middie), Mr Olabode Agoro, Lagos Head of Service (2nd right) and Dr Oluwarotimi Fashola, Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture (right) at the Lagos Food System Breakfast Meeting with Stakeholders organised by the Ministry of Agriculture

The Lagos State Government, under the administration of Mr Babajide Sanwo – Olu, has reiterated its commitment to ensure food sufficiency in the state by implementing its 5 – year Agricultural Roadmap launched in 2021.

The Honorable Commissioner for Agriculture in the state, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, gave the assurance at the Food Systems Breakfast Meeting, organized by the Ministry of Agriculture for the Stakeholders in Lagos State, at the Protea Hotel, Alausa-Ikeja, on Thursday, 18th January, 2024.

At the meeting were Hon. Emmanuel Olotu, Chairman, House of Assembly Committee on Agriculture, Commissioner for Economic Planning, Mr Mosopefolu George, Special Adviser on Agriculture (Rice), Dr Oluwarotimi Fashola and Head of Service, Lagos State, Mr Olabode Agoro.

Olusanya, speaking, stated that the breakfast meeting was organized to unveil the ministry’s agenda for the year and have inputs from the stakeholders.

“We will go live on eight projects which include Central Logistics Hub, Lagos Aquaculture Centre of Excellence (LACE), capacity building for horticulture stakeholders, full operations and capacity building for stakeholders in the Lagos Food Production Centres.

Cross section of stakeholders

Others are execution of state-wide intervention and Green Wall Initiative,” she said.

Olusanya listed other progranmmes as the establishment of Agricultural Value Chains Entreprise Activation Programme, Agri-thon, Lagos Cares, Lagos Entrepreneurship Programme and the Lagos Agric Scholars Programme.

“The state government will also create the Lagos Agrinnovation Clusters, the Food Value Chains’ Destination, the Lagos Central Food Security System and Logistics Hub and the Middle Level Agro Product Hub.”

The Commissioner also laid emphasis on the Lagos Rice Mill, the Central Logistics Hub, the Red Meat Initiative, Lagos Feedlot System and Butchers’ Academy among others.

Olusanya, who expressed disappointment over the attitude of many of the youths empowered to boost agriculture in the state, added that the government is reviewing its policy and may be focusing on the existing and experienced farmers in a bid to give them the much needed support.

Also speaking, Dr Fashola, the Special Adviser to the governor on Agriculture, said that state government is doing everything to make rice available to majority Lagosians, adding that N50 billion would be required to increase produce to 100,000 tonnes.

Stakeholders at the meeting

“We started off with about 5,000 tonnes of paddy and with the genuity of the team, we were able to partner with the Commodity and Exchange Board that brought another close to 10,000 paddy for us to end the year”, he said.

“We were able to do roughly about 15,000 tonnes of paddy which is over 120,000 bags of rice in 2023, but this year, we are hoping to do 100,000 tonnes of paddy.

“Believe me, that is not cheap because last year, we started about N200,000 per ton, but today as I speak, the cost of paddy is about N510,000 per ton.

“In other words, if we are going to do 100,000 tonnes per paddy, we will need N50 billion,” he said.

Fashola said that the state government is currently discussing with Niger and Kebbi States, to get their farmers to produce paddy in large quantity so that Lagos State can buy from them at reasonable costs.

In his own contributions, Hon. Emmanuel Olotu, Chairman, Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Agriculture, commended the Ministry for the initiative which he said has given stakeholders the opportunity to have inputs in the agenda.

“I commend the Ministry of Agriculture for spearheading this platform which allows us to collectively share the Ministry’s robust programmes and projects for the 2024”, he said.

“Our share goal should be the development of resilient and efficient agenda that can benefit our farmers and customers, and improve on the agricultural planned agenda.

“Lagos State, through the Ministry of Agriculture, has diligently work to create platform for agro stakeholders, providing avenue for investments, knowledge exchange and sustainable practices. Let us leverage this framework to provide support through smart agricultural practices, and technology integration among others”.

Olotu charged stakeholders to collaborate and explore opportunities provided by the government.

The State’s Commissioner for Economy, Planning and Budget, Mr Mosopefolu George, said that he has been supporting the Agriculture Ministry’s proposals because of the importance of the sector.

He emphasized the importance of agriculture to the development of the economy.

Mr George, who said that the state government is proud of the achievements of the ministry, added that it has made significant improvement and upscaled food production in the state

He also added that some of the ministry’s plans will change food preservation and improve food security in the state, while also charging stakeholders to continue to support the ministry.

In his remarks, Lagos Head of Civil Service (HoS), Mr Olabode Agoro, charged civil servants to participate in farming, while also urging the Ministry of Agriculture to support and encourage its staff’s participation in the agricultural sector.

Also, stakeholders at the meeting were given the opportunity to ask questions, give suggestions and critique the Ministry’s plans.

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