In Lagos, seven thousand, five hundred and thirty-three farmers have been trained in new technologies under the Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement And Livelihood Improvement Support, APPEALS, project.
Three thousand, nine hundred and fifty farmers involved in the APPEALS focused aquaculture, poultry and rice value chains, including women, youths and people living with disability have also been supported with with inputs and equipment for maximum productivity.
Lagos State Coordinator of the APPEALS Project, Mrs Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo stated this in Agege at an interactive session with newsmen on its annual project with the theme : ‘Zero Hunger: Forging Ahead Together For Sustainable Actions’.
According to Mrs Sagoe-Oviebo, the specific needs capacity building and support given to farmers under the project have enabled the them to produce all-year round and even become exporters, while more than fifteen thousand direct and indirect jobs have been created.
She said “The project does not just support a farmer just like that, we do a need assessment, we go to the different clusters to find what they are not doing right and correct it so that they can achieve what they should do, beyond the beneficiaries, the direct beneficiaries, we also have people in the communities who are indirect beneficiaries, they come to help in harvesting and providing security,etc”
The APPEALS Project Coordinator explained that statistics from the Lagos State Bureau of Statistics indicate that with the project, poverty has been reduced by between 5-10 percent in the State.
On the plans for this year, Mrs Sagoe-Oviebo announced that the APPEALS project would be boosting farmers’ capacity to produce egg powder and ongoing canning technology for tilapia, while transformers and more roads would be constructed for farm estates and jetties for fish cages, and a number of business plans would be approved for more farmers.
Some of the farmers and off-takers, who have been empowered under the project stated that it has had tremendous positive impact on their productivity and finances.
The APPEALS Project which kicked off in 2017 and will be rounded off in 2023, is a six-year World bank assisted project implemented through the Federal and States Ministry of Agriculture in six States: Lagos, Cross River, Enugu, Kogi, Kaduna and Kano to enhance the agricultural productivity of small and medium scale farmers.