By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said that the State Government would soon commence a mechanization programme, tagged the “Eko Agro Mechanization Programme” with the procurement of 14 brand new tractors and ancillary equipment for farmers in the State.
Sanwo-Olu who said this over the weekend at the grand finale of this year World Food Day Celebration in the State explained that the programme is part of efforts towards achieving food security in the State.
The Governor who was spoke through the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Hakeem Adeniji noted that the programme would also ensure that more lands are put to use thereby increasing economic contribution in the State through agricultural mechanization.
He however added that equipment shall be utilized under the operational model known as Tractor-On-the-Go (TOG).
“As part of efforts towards achieving our food security objective through putting more land to use and increase the economic contribution in the State through agricultural mechanization, we shall soon, commence a Mechanization Programme, tagged the “Eko Agro Mechanization Programme” with the procurement of Fourteen (14) brand new tractors and ancillary equipment for farmers in the State.
“This equipment shall be utilized under the operational model known as Tractor-On-the-Go (TOG),” the Governor opined.
Governor Sanwo-Olu added that State Government would also improve on existing agricultural infrastructure in some rural farming communities in order to reconnect agricultural value chain actors with input and output markets.
Towards this end, he stressed that water and sanitary facilities shall also be upgraded in 69 wet markets across the State under the “LAGOS CARES” Programme with a view to reassuring safety in these markets.
Sanwo-Olu noted that this programme is expected to impact no fewer than 15,000 households as well as create not less than 25,000 jobs for agripreneurs thereby making significant contributions to the State food basket that will bring farmers back on the path of economic recovery post COVID-19 pandemic.
“From this year, the Federal Government through the State FADAMA Development Office domiciled in the Ministry of Agriculture will be providing a relief package, though minimal to existing poor and vulnerable farmers and processing groups under the World Bank assisted Covid-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus tagged “NG CARES””Programme to assist poor households with farm inputs.
“Production and processing assets, as well as, hands-on training on enhanced management practices and advisory services. This shall boost individual enterprise productivity, increase yields and improve food security status in the State.
“Based on the above, we shall improve on existing agricultural infrastructure in some rural farming communities to reconnect agricultural value chain actors with input and output markets.
“To reassure safety in our markets, water and sanitary facilities shall also be upgraded in 69 wet markets across the State under the “LAGOS CARES” Programme.
“It is worth mentioning that this programme is expected to impact about 15.000 households and make significant contributions to the State food basket which will bring our farmers back on the path of economic recovery post COVID-19 pandemic. The Programme shall create not less than 25,000 jobs for agripreneurs,” the Governor averred.
He added that the State Government would also consider the establishment of “Agritech Centre” at the Dairy Farm Complex, Agege to fast track the development of smart solutions leading to increased agricultural productivity and address the State’s food insecurity challenges as well as diversify the economy.
Sanwo-Olu reiterated the State Government’s commitment to intensify her drive to support farmers, encourage small and medium scale agro-processors and create an enabling environment for private sector involvement in agriculture adding that this will go a long way in growing the economy through Agriculture and food sufficiency.
The Governor commended the Commissioner for Agriculture and her team for implementing his administration’s agenda at promoting food security for the benefit of all in Lagos State.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya who spoke through the Director, Agric Services, Mrs. Abiola Ayoade noted that the year edition of the World Food Day Celebration has been enhanced with series of activities during the week-long celebration which culminated in the grand finale over the weekend.
The World Food Day is celebrated annually to sensitize people to the importance and necessity for food security and access to food and nutrition, especially among the vulnerable, in the society.