The Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, has said that the Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project has been very successful in the state and that over 10,000 people have benefited across different levels; farming, fishing, food processing and among others.
Hamzat made this known during a courtesy visit to him by delegations of the World Bank, Federal Ministry of Finance, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and National Coordination Unit of APPEALS Project at the official residence of the Deputy Governor in Osborne, Ikoyi, Lagos. He said all the successes recorded had led to the realignment of markets and other values had been benefited in the state. He said the APPEALS project was carried out in six different states, namely: Lagos, Enugu, Cross River, Kano, Kaduna and Kogi states, noting that the programme was very successful and beneficial to the state.
The Deputy Governor said that though the project was coming to an end, but the state government would sustain it. “We are here to discuss the exit plan and hence the state will now find a way to keep it up, sustain the legacy, to make sure that beneficiaries don’t face off and how to push-in new beneficiaries into it”. The Lagos State Project Coordinator for APPEALS, Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo, stated that the project had five components in the state; productivity of farmers with three value chains poultry, aquaculture, and rice; support for women and youths; and infrastructure, among other components. According to Sagoe-Oviebo, in the poultry sector, the farmers in the state had been supported, the productivity for broiler production of farmers had increased from 1.8 to 2.5 in six weeks and such growth was recorded in the production of eggs, saying the state had successfully adopted egg powder technology.
Sagoe-Oviebo noted that the development recorded in the state through the project, especially in the aquaculture sector, include the tilapia fish encaged culture, which had been promoted and concentrated on two water bodies in Afowo and Epe areas of Lagos State, stressing that over 180 cages had been built on the two waterways. She also explained that the project was targeted to support 700 women and youth initially, but at completion, the target was exceeded to 1,786 women and youths. “Capacities have been built through the support received from the Lagos State government. Out of which 1,738 of the beneficiaries have been supported with inputs that have made them gainfully employed and have also made them employers of labour presently”. The task team leader of the APPEALS Project from the World Bank, Dr. Manievel Sene stated that the project was designed to increase the productivity and processing of farmers in some selective states to ensure food security in the country. He noted that in the course of the project, a lot of training, capacity-building, technology dissemination and adoption for investment had been achieved.