Lagos State Government on Tuesday restated its commitment to boost food security in the State just as it said that various agricultural initiative programmes aimed at making the State a food secured place have been developed through profitable investments in the agricultural value chains.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Oluwatoyin Suarau who made this known at a press briefing signalling the commencement 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 are facing 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-agribusiness readily comes to mind, considering the collaboration between Lagos and Kebbi States on a large production, processing and distribution of the LAKE Rice product,” he said.
Suarau noted that a 32 metric tonne per hour rice milling plant which will become operational next year has been acquired by the State government 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 rice 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 take effect from next year.
Suarau noted that the establishment of Agricultural Estate Initiative, promotion of vegetable production using greenhouse technology, cage and pen culture in fisheries production, strengthening of farm settlement initiative, 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 the inception of the present administration, has embarked on agricultural policies and programmes that will enhance food security in the state.
He noted that the State government has made a lot of deliberate efforts to enhance agriculture in the state 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, Okanlawon reiterated that the Lagos State government remains committed to ensuring that the state remains a food secured place.
He added government is ready to overcome all challenges threatening the availability of food in the state stressing that food production is a strategy government is using to tackle the issue of unemployment and encourage youth empowerment.