The Lagos State Government will soon commence a mechanisation programme, tagged the “Eko Agro Mechanisation Programme” with the procurement of 14 brand new tractors and ancillary equipment for farmers in the State.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu made the disclosure at the grand finale of the Y2021 World Food Day Celebration in the State, explaining that the programme is part of efforts towards achieving food security in Lagos.
The Governor, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Hakeem Adeniji, noted that the programme would also ensure that more land is put to use thereby increasing economic contribution through agricultural mechanisation, adding that the equipment will be utilised under the operational model known as Tractor-On-the-Go (TOG).
He gave an assurance that there will be an improvement on existing agricultural infrastructure in some rural farming communities to reconnect the agricultural value chain actors with input and output markets, stressing that water and sanitary facilities will be upgraded in 69 wet markets across the State under the “LAGOS CARES” Programme.
Sanwo-Olu averred that the programme is expected to impact no fewer than 15,000 households as well as create nothing less than 25,000 jobs for agripreneurs, thereby making significant contributions to the State food basket and bringing farmers back on the path of economic recovery post-COVID-19 pandemic.
His words: “From this year, the Federal Government, through the State FADAMA Development Office domiciled in the Ministry of Agriculture, will be providing a relief package, though minimal, to existing poor and vulnerable farmers and processing groups under the World Bank assisted COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus tagged “NG CARES” Programme, to assist poor households with farm inputs”.
“We shall improve on existing agricultural infrastructure in some rural farming communities to reconnect agricultural value chain actors with input and output markets. To reassure safety in our markets, water and sanitary facilities shall also be upgraded in 69 wet markets across the State under the “LAGOS CARES” Programme”.
He hinted that the State Government will consider the establishment of “Agritech Centre” at the Dairy Farm Complex, Agege, to fast track the development of smart solutions leading to increased agricultural productivity and address the State’s food insecurity challenges as well as diversify the economy.
Sanwo-Olu reiterated the State Government’s commitment to intensify her drive to support farmers, encourage small and medium scale agro-processors and create an enabling environment for private sector involvement in agriculture, maintaining that this will go a long way in growing the economy through Agriculture and food sufficiency.
The Governor commended the Commissioner for Agriculture and her team for implementing his administration’s agenda to promote food security for the benefit of all in Lagos State.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, who spoke through the Director, Agric Services, Mrs. Abiola Ayoade, remarked that the Y2021 edition of the World Food Day Celebration has been enhanced with series of activities during the week-long celebration which culminated in the grand finale over the weekend.
World Food Day is celebrated annually to sensitise people to the importance and necessity for food security and access to food and nutrition, especially among the vulnerable in society.