By Modupe Gbadeyanka A centre with the capacity to process at least 20,000 metric tonnes of fish is to be established in Lagos State with the help of the private sector, the acting Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, has disclosed. Speaking at an event, she said the centre should begin operations hopefully before the end of this year. \u201cThis arrangement is on a Public-Private Partnership (PPP). The process is ongoing and we hope to be able to start it this year. \u201cThe idea is for this one facility alone to be able to process at least nothing less than 20,000 metric tons of fish and after processing, this fish can be sent to other States in Nigeria or it can also be exported,\u201d the Commissioner said. According to her, the processing centre for the fisheries and aquaculture sector will buy the produce from registered farm clusters and fish farm estates in a bid to set profit margins for farmers. Ms Olusanya said the state government was worried about the different challenges the fish farmers were facing, especially with marketing and sales of the products. The Commissioner, who was a guest at the Quarterly Forum for Fish and Crop Farmers organised by the Lagos State Agricultural Inputs Supply Authority (LAISA) at the Odogunyan Fish Farm Estate, Ikorodu, stated that Lagos strives to add value, especially for agricultural products which would translate to more foreign exchange earnings, food sufficiency, food security, increased Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and subsequently provide more profit and improved livelihood for farmers. She said there\u2019re several small clusters of smallholder farmers in the fisheries and aquaculture sector, who lack clarity about profit margins and experience low productivity level, noting that the state government will support the trade to alleviate poverty among the farmers. Disclosing that the developmental objectives for the agricultural sector extended beyond providing market access for farmers, Ms Olusanya added that it also includes capacity building and empowerment which the state is currently carrying out under the Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project, the Lagos Agripreneurship Programme (LAP) and the Lagos State Farm Service Centre at Oko-Oba where executive programmes are organised for farmers and would-be farmers. While noting that some of the best students who took part in the Lagos Agripreneurship Programme earlier this year have since been empowered with facilities built for them, the Commissioner explained that with the APPEALS project, over 6,000 people have been trained and under the Women and Youth Scheme while more than 1,300 people have undergone training in the various agricultural value chains towards ensuring that food sustainability and security is top of the line in Lagos.