Lagos Reaffirms Pledge to Boost Food Security
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Once again, the Lagos State government has restated its commitment to boost food security in the state just as it said that various agricultural initiative programmes aimed at making the state attain food sufficiency have been developed through profitable investments in the agriculture value-chain.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Oluwatoyin Suarau, who briefed the media as part of activities to commemorate the year 2017 World Food Day celebration, noted that the theme of the celebration ‘Change the Future of Migration: Investment in Food Security and Rural Development’ brings to fore the various challenges countries face in terms of migration and food security.
“I wish to emphasise that the Lagos State government through the Ministry of Agriculture has developed agricultural initiatives aimed at addressing these challenges, the recent breakthrough in rice-agric business readily comes to mind, considering the collaboration between Lagos and Kebbi States on large production, processing and distribution of the LAKE Rice product,” he said.
Mr Suarau noted that the state government has acquired a 32 metric tonne per hour rice milling plant, which will become operational next year, to ensure that Lagos meets up with the demand of its LAKE Rice product.
He added that Lagos is also collaborating with Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, and Ondo States in the area of rice production so as to ensure that adequate farm produce is supplied to the 32 metric tonnes per hour rice mill.
The Commissioner stated that vigorous market sensitization on the use of re-useable plastic crates in place of raffia basket for packaging and carriage of perishable farm produce is ongoing stressing that the use of the plastic crates will also take effect from next year.
Mr Suarau said that the establishment of an Agricultural Estate Initiative, promotion of vegetable production using greenhouse technology, cage and pen culture in fisheries production, strengthening of the farm settlement initiative and empowerment of farmers are some of the initiatives aimed to further improve agricultural development and sustainable food security in Lagos.
Speaking in the same vein, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Food Security, Mr Ganiyu Sanni Okanlawon, averred that the state government especially since inception of the present administration has embarked on agricultural policies and programmes that will enhance food security.
He noted that the state government has made a lot of deliberate efforts to enhance agriculture in Lagos with the introduction of programmes in vegetable, poultry, cassava and fishery farming and various forms of agro- processing programmes to the youths.
While calling on stakeholders and investors especially those in the private sector to join hands with the State Government to boost food security, Mr Okanlawon reiterated that the present administration is determined to overcome all challenges threatening the availability of food in the state.