By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
In its bid to ensure even and fair distribution of LAKE Rice product to the nooks and crannies of Lagos, the state government has extended hands of participation on marketing and distribution of the product to shopping malls and supermarkets in the State.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Oluwatoyin Suarau who held a meeting with representatives of shopping malls and supermarkets stated that the State government in its all- inclusive system of governance extended the hands of participation to the high earns markets to ensure wider distribution and availability of the product to residents.
He emphasized that the ultimate goal of the State government on production and marketing of LAKE rice is to stop importation of rice and ensure that only locally produced rice is consumed by residents.
The commissioner assured the representatives of the shopping malls and supermarkets that the State government will not relent in ensuring that the product maintains its quality and wholesomeness.
He explained that the product always go through different quality analysis assessment before being released to the market for consumption.
“Our LAKE Rice is of good quality. The major difference between LAKE Rice and imported rice is that the imported has a minimum storage of five to six years storage life span, but LAKE Rice is fresh and wholesome”, He said.
He however stated that the state government will ensure continuous availability of rice in the state as food production and self-sufficiency have been given priority attention at State’s policy and strategic levels which is aimed at sustaining Lagos because the state is the largest consumer of rice in Nigeria.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on food security Mr. Ganiyu Sanni Okanlawon noted that the State government will go into a memorandum of understanding with the stakeholders of the supermarkets to ensure that the product will not be adulterated, or passed off in another brand’s name stressing that a breach of the fundamental terms in the agreement between the both parties will impose a maximum sanction.
He stated further that the government has put in place various measures to protect the price and avoid adulteration so that the aim of the government in the even distribution of the product will not be defeated. He added that the government has constituted a committee which will strictly monitor the product in the market.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Olayiwole Onasanya who was also present at the meeting stated that production of LAKE Rice is targeted towards promoting the distribution of locally produced rice and ensure that the state becomes a food secured place.
He said that the government will maintain the original price of N12,000 for 50kg and N6000 for 25kg but will offer discounted commission to shopping malls and supermarkets to sell at the officially approved price and still make their gains.
The representative of Eko Farmers Mart, Surulere, Mr. Ibukunoluwa Olu-Jacobs applauded the government for co-opting high earn market in the distribution of LAKE Rice. He added that the government should be applauded for not just distributing the rice but fair distribution irrespective of class.
Mr Ayodeji Aluko of super saver store also applauded the government for including the retailers as the government has helped in providing an avenue of getting genuine rice as there are a lot of contraband rice in the country. This will also help in the gross domestic Product of the country. He said.