The Lagos State Government has expressed its strong commitment to enhancing the agricultural productivity of small and medium-scale farmers as well as improving value addition along the agricultural value chains in line with the core objectives of the Lagos Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project.
Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, stated this during the Federal Government/World Bank Eighth Implementation Support Mission visit to the Lagos State held at Agege in Lagos.
She said: “The implementation of APPEALS project in Lagos State through capacity building and technology adoption support to our farmers has positively increased productivity of rice paddy in the State from 1.5 MT to 2.5 MT / Ha and 2.0 -3.56 MT/ Ha for Ofada and FARRO 44 respectively, Catfish productivity has increased from 100 Kg/ m3 to 151.3 Kg / m3, and in poultry, Broiler has increased from 1.8 Kg/ bird per cycle to 2.5 Kg/ bird.
“The processed output and sales of products for the value chains follow the same trend such that the aquaculture farmers supported by APPEALS project have produced 307.948 MT Fresh Tilapia and are expanding day by day. By virtue of our abundant water resources with as much as 20 percent of the State made up of water, we are a natural hub for aquaculture.
“APPEALS project has continued to promote productivity enhancement technologies and promotion of value addition through demonstration of improved technologies. These have directly been delivered on the Project Development Objective. Most of these technologies were confirmed through administrative data, though an output survey is in the process of being rolled out to confirm the figures.
“I must say that the inclusion of the Women and Youth Empowerment Programme in the design of this project is a novel idea because agriculture offers our people, especially our youths, an opportunity to make a difference, especially through effective deployment of technology in the sector, for improved productivity and the attainment of our food security and safety goals on one hand, and our job creation agenda on the other. I am a strong believer that increased involvement of young Nigerians in agriculture will help tackle various longstanding challenges facing the sector.”
Also speaking the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs. Olatokunbo Emokpae, said “Lagos State’s vision of making Africa’s Model Mega City and Global Economic and Financial Hub is hinged on the six pillars of the State’s THEMES developmental agenda of the present administration of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu. It is important to mention that agriculture is embedded among the pillars in ensuring that the State attains a 21st-century economy because of its obvious roles in food, industrial and economic sectors.”
In his address, the National Project Coordinator of APPEALS, Mohammed Jobdi, commended Lagos State Government for its top-notch performance in its implementation of the Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project.
He said the visit to Lagos APPEALS Project and the other five states, earlier visited by the World Bank and Federal Government team was to review the project’s implementation and give stakeholders the opportunity to rub minds regarding the issues, challenges and constraints being faced for greater outputs.
The Task Team Leader of the World Bank Mission to Lagos, Dr. Adetunji Oredipe, hailed the Lagos APPEALS Project’s commitment to farmers in the State, noting that the implementation of the project in the state had really improved the livelihood of women and youths as well as enhancing outputs in the agricultural value chain.
He said the reports of the activities of the Lagos APPEALS Project are commendable, adding that they will continue to sustain the project with investment in the state to get the desired results in order to do things differently and finish well.
The Lagos State Project Coordinator of APPEALS, Mrs. Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo, commended Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration’s commitment to improving the livelihood of farmers in the State through agriculture, adding that the State Government has been of tremendous support for the implementation and success story of APPEALS Project in Lagos State.
Speaking earlier, the representative of the farmers who benefited from the Lagos APPEALS Project, Alhaja Nurat Atoba thanked the State government for its efforts and said the project had helped to improve their livelihood in the price regulation, technology, infrastructure, production and e-marketing.
Atoba, who is the President of Lagos State Catfish and Allied Farmers Association, said farmers in Lagos State have benefited immensely from the three value chains of the Lagos APPEALS Project, which are aquaculture, poultry and rice.
Lagos State Catfish and Allied Farmers Association also presented awards to Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat; Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya; Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs. Olatokunbo Emokpae; National Project Coordinator of APPEALS, Mohammed Jobdi and Lagos State Project Coordinator of APPEALS, Mrs. Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo, to appreciate the contributions of Lagos State Government and APPEALS Project to improved productivity of farmers in Lagos State.