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LASG Empowers Over Three Hundred Thousand Persons in Three Years, Signs MOU on Rice Mill

The Lagos State government says it has created more than three hundred thousand direct and indirect jobs in the last three years through Agriculture

The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya made this known in Alausa, Ikeja, at a news briefing ahead of this year’s World Food Day.

According to Ms Olusanya, these jobs cut across various agricultural value chains and empowerment projects in line with the THEMES agenda of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu adminstration.

“The state government has provided several facilities and production inputs to 6,983 beneficiaries through the Agricultural Value Chain Enterprise Activation Programme between the year 2019 and 2022. About 800 women were trained in Nutrition Development by Women in Agriculture (WIA) and Nutrition. Over 1,200 participants have enrolled in AGSMEIS training portal. This initiative links farmers (Individuals/ Lagos Agripreneurial Programme (LAP) with CBN Agribusiness Credit Facilities. Also, about 500 entrepreneurs were trained to access this loan based on their enterprise,” she said.

Explaining that many of the State Government’s programmes in the sector are in line with this years’s World Food Day theme: “Leave No One Behind. Better Production, Better Nutrition, a Better Environment and a Better Life”, the Commissioner said a number of activities had been lined up from October 5 till the annual commemoration of the day on October 16 and even beyond.

Ms Olusanya pointed out that food system policy and planning has been the major focus of the adminstration and this is evidenced by the launch of the 5-year Agricultural and Food Systems Road Map in 2021 by the Governor Sanwo-Olu to create the pathway for the achievement of 40% self-sufficiency in food production by 2025 against the present 20% food production level.

She listed other programmes and initiatives undertaken by the State through the Ministry of Agriculture to raise local food production to include: Lagos CARES; the State’s version of the Nigeria Covid-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus Programme, livestock vaccinations, decontamination of live birds markets as well as capacity Building and Empowerment of Farmers, Women and Youths, while twenty (20) brand new tractors with auxiliary equipment had been purchased for farmers by the State government to address food security, leveraging more acreage and increasing the State’s economic contribution through Agricultural Mechanisation.

Observed annually on October 16, the World Food Day coincides with the day the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization was founded in 1945 to combat food insecurity and the 16th of October is also widely recognized by many other organizations concerned with food security such as the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme.

RICE MOU

Rahul Savara (left) with Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government has signed a memorandum of Understanding, MOU, with one of the rice distribution groups in the country, WACOT, to provide technical supports and training transfer for Imota Rice Mill.

In an interview with newsmen at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja after Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had signed the MOU, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Dr. Rotimi Fashola, reassured that the Imota Rice Mill would be up and running in December this year.

Dr Fashola explained that the MOU was part of the current administration’s Public-Private-Partnership initiative to ensure the smooth operations of the mill, ranging from quality assurance to pricing

The Imota Rice Mill occupies a-thirteen-hectares of land, and is billed to produce 32 metric tons of grains per hour and a gross capacity to produce 2.8 million 50kg bags of rice annually.

On her part, the Head Corporate Communication of the Group, Ms Rafiat Gawat, explained that the group which had been milling rice in Kebbi State since 2017 would be bringing their experience in production and distribution to bear at the Imota Rice Mill

Ms Gawat said the MOU would last for nine months and is subject to renewal.

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