Over 20,000 fisherfolks and farmers in Lagos State communities will benefit from the Agricultural Value Chains Enterprise Activation and Farmers’ Support Programme. The Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, while speaking at the flag-off ceremony of the distribution of agricultural inputs and production assets to fishing and farming cluster-communities in the Ikorodu Local Government Area, said that the programme was designed to provide agricultural inputs and production assets to 120 fishing and farming clusters-communities across the 20 local governments counvils in the state.
“In all, over 20,000 fisherfolks and farmers will benefit from the programme while budgetary provision has been made to accommodate a larger number of value chain actors in the 2023 edition of the programme”, Olusanya said, and that, the attainment of food security was a major policy thrust of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s Administration, given its relevance in promoting the health and well-being of citizens and the achievement of the state government’s THEMES Agenda (Traffic Management and Transportation, Health and Environment, Education and Technology, Making Lagos a 21st Century Economy, Entertainment and Tourism, Security and Governance.
The commissioner said one of the challenges confronting agriculture in the state was an ageing farmer and fishermen population and that most youths, who make up about 60 per cent of the state’s population, are not interested in agriculture as a profession because of the drudgery in the system. “It is in the wake of this fact, that the ministry partnered with innovative companies to introduce technology into agriculture, especially the upstream sector”, as she charged fisherfolks and farmers in the beneficiary clusters and communities to make the best use of inputs received towards the overall development of agriculture in Lagos State. The Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture (Rice Mill Initiative), Dr. Oluwarotimi Fashola, earlier in his welcome address, said the programme commenced in 2014 and so far, a total of 16,466 farmers, fishermen, agro-processors, butchers and marketers had benefitted from its implementation with corresponding impacts on agricultural productivity in the state.
Fashola said this year’s edition of the programme, which is implemented on a communal basis, is tailored to addressing the needs expressed by fisherfolks and farmers in fishing and farming clusters-communities across the 57 local government areas and local council development areas of the state. “This is to aid food production, processing and preservation towards enhanced livelihood for the fisherfolks and farmers”, as Fashola implored all beneficiaries of the programme to cooperate with each other in the utilisation of inputs so that maximum impacts are derived to the overall benefit of Lagosians.