Lagos State Government has reiterated its commitment to food security and farmers’ productivity in the State through the Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project.
Speaking at the Pre-7th Implementation Support Mission of the Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project, held over the weekend at the APPEALS Project State Coordinating Office in Agege, Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, said agriculture remains one of the major drivers in achieving sustainable economic growth.
She said food security can be achieved in Lagos and Nigeria at large through the application of technological advancement and most importantly through self-commitment to a better Nigeria.
Olusanya in her keynote address said the APPEALS Project is directly contributing to the 17 goals of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the six pillars of the THEMES agenda of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu led administration by exploring and investing in the use of innovation and technology to create competitive advantage in ensuring that Lagos attains a 21st century economy.
She charged APPEALS Project to continue to contribute immensely to the actualisation of the project’s objective of enhancing agricultural productivity of small and medium-scale farmers and improving value addition along the chosen priority value chains, which are poultry, aquaculture and rice in Lagos State.
“Lagos State Government through the Ministry of Agriculture is providing maximum support to the project in ensuring that the contributions of these value chains to food security, local production, improvement of livelihood as well as the creation of export markets are sustained.
“A total of 2,691 farmers, SMEs have been supported directly with physical inputs and equipment across poultry, rice and aquaculture while 3,516 stakeholders have benefitted indirectly. Also, 1,621 Women and Youth Empowerment beneficiaries have been trained and their empowerment implementation is in progress. About 8,000 farmers have received training and technology demonstrations with strong evidence of a positive resultant effect on the Project Development Objective.
“The State through the leadership of Mr. Governor; Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has remained supportive to APPEALS project as with other Donor/World Bank Assisted Projects in the State through regular payments of counterpart contributions.”
Olusanya also commended Lagos APPEALS Project team for enhancing farmers’ productivity in Lagos State, adding that “The State Steering Committee (SSC) and State Technical Committee (STC) have been performing their oversight functions in ensuring that the project implementation remains on course and our interaction with project stakeholders with a level of interventions through monitoring is so far satisfactory. However, Lagos State being a State of Excellence is always striving to be better.”
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Hakeem Adeniji, who is the Chairman, APPEALS Project State Technical Committee, said the implementation of the project has received a lot of support from Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The National Coordinator of APPEALS Project, Mr. Mohammed Sanni Jobdi, who was represented by Dr. Salisu Garba, said the project at the national level is encouraged by what Lagos APPEALS project is doing.
He also commended Lagos State Project Coordinator of APPEALS, Mrs. Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo and her team for meeting the yearning and aspirations of thousands of farmers in line with the objectives of the Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project.
Sagoe-Oviebo said APPEALS Project has impacted lives and boosted farmers’ productivity in Lagos State.
She also commended Governor Sanwo-Olu, Commissioner for Agriculture, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, National Coordination Office of APPEALS Project and other major stakeholders for their commitment toward ensuring the success of Lagos APPEALS Project.
Chairman, Lagos State chapter of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Otunba Femi Oke; President, Lagos State Catfish and Allied Farmers Association, Alhaja Nurat Atoba and Representative of Poultry Association of Nigeria, Mr. Olufemi Stephen, who spoke respectively during the event commended what APPEALS Project is doing to farmers in Lagos State in the three value chain – aquaculture, rice and poultry.
They said they have felt the impacts of the Lagos APPEALS Project and promised to continue to work with the project to boost food security and feed Lagos and Nigeria at large.