LASG to increase percentage of food supply

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By; Matthew Ukachunwa, Lagos.
Lagos State Government has embarked on projects to increase the aggregate food supply of the state to 25 percent from the current less than 15 percent, within the next four years.
The state’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Tpyin Suarau, disclosed this at a press briefing marking the first year in office of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
The state hopes to achieve this 2020 agric agenda target by intensifying efforts in the production of crops in which it has comparative ecological and socio-economic advantages, Suarau explained.
He pointed out that government is not deterred by the state’s high industrial status, large population and pressure on land for non-agricultural purposes.
The state’s areas of comparative advantage in the agro-industrial sector include fisheries, livestock and vegetable production as well as the agro-processing subsector, he said.
The Commissioner stated that his ministry is implementing the state’s strategic food security plan with programmes and projects that have remarkable impact on food security in the state.
This, according to him, is “part of efforts to increase food security in Lagos.”
Some of the projects and programmes intensified on in the state in the last one year are:  collaboration between the state and Kebbi State for the development of agricultural commodities like rice, wheat, groundnut, onion, maize/sorgum and beef, Suaeau reiterated.
Agric Youth Empowerment Scheme (AGRIC-YES) and the continued establishment of infrastructural facilities at Songhai-Avia, Badagry under the AGRI-YES were also mentioned as the agric programmes of Lagos State.
“Others are the Estate Initiatives on Poultry, Fish, Vegetable and Arabic crops, coconut development in Lagos State for tourism and poverty alleviation, commercial agriculture development project to increase productivity, National Fadama Development project for poverty  alleviation, input subsidy and organic farming promotion to increase farmer’s income, farm  mechanization to reduce drudgery in agriculture, and agricultural land holdings and management to improve access  by genuine farmers to land,” the agric chief elaborated.
Moreover, “the state government,” he said, “is not relenting in its Rural Finance Institutions Building programme and school agricultural programme.”
Furthermore, Lagos State Government is also strengthening  its Agricultural Extension Services, the development  of modern abattoirs as well as the training of small  scale  farmers and the organization of summit in order to  achieve  its sustainable food security agenda.

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