The Lagos State Government is set to commission the newly-constructed middle-level food agro-hub, located at Idi-Oro in Mushin. The food hub, which was established by the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration, as one of the direct answers to the question of food insecurity and sustainability plaguing the country.
The establishment of middle-level food hub in Idi-Oro, Mushin expresses the Lagos State Government’s solution and strategy that harnesses its comparative advantage as a market-state, and cater to the key stumbling blocks affecting food security – Market information, intermediary integration and contractual certainty. A statement by the state Commissioner of Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya stated that “Nigeria’s markets are plagued by poor integration, in the face of growing food demands from a burgeoning population”. Olusanya stated further that “given the inability of markets to efficiently move food from surplus to deficit regions, poor integration has a major effect on both farmer incomes and on food security, hence the need for food systems transformation as exemplified by Lagos State Government’s middle-level agro-hub”.
“The launch of a new way of food distribution in Lagos with the commissioning of the middle-level food agro-hub will see to the tackling of problems associated with post-harvest losses, inflation, carbon footprints and traffic congestion”, she added. The middle level food agro-hub is located in the heart of Mushin, Idi-oro, with the modern facility sitting on 6,400 square meters of land. The governor said the state had a robust integrated plan that would ensure food sufficiency and food adequacy in Lagos. He noted that the plan became important because food security globally was becoming an issue. “We have a robust integrated plan at ensuring that food sufficiency, food adequacy in Lagos are secured because food security globally is becoming an issue. For us as a government, we need to be able to help the market, we need to be able to help the farmers and to help our citizens”, he said.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State governor had encouraged more people to go into rice cultivation to sustain the state’s rice mill in Imota, Ikorodu. Sanwo-Olu said his administration was committed to encouraging farmers while assuring that farming was important to his administration to ensure that food was affordable and accessible for all while mitigating the challenges facing farming in the country. In the same vein, some stakeholders in the agriculture sector such as the Chairman, All Farmers’ Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in Lagos and South-West Zone, Dr. Femi Oke had said that insecurity, flooding and poor funding pose a great danger to food security in the country. Oke, therefore, urged the federal and state governments to increase budgetary allocation to the agriculture sector to increase funding to farmers, as he also called for a reduction in interest rates for farmers and agro-processors to reduce the price of food commodities.