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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A total of 2,691 farmers and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have been supported directly by the Lagos State government with physical inputs and equipment across poultry, rice and aquaculture.

The Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, while speaking at the weekend at the pre-7th implementation support mission of the Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project in Agege, added that about 3,516 stakeholders have also benefitted from the programme indirectly.

She also said 1,621 women and youth empowerment beneficiaries have been trained and their empowerment implementation is in progress, while about 8,000 farmers have received training and technology demonstrations with strong evidence of a positive resultant effect on the project development objective.

Ms Olusanya explained that the administration of Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu supported this project because of his commitment to food security and farmers’ productivity in the state as agriculture remains one of the major drivers in achieving sustainable economic growth.

According to her, 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.

She disclosed that the state government was exploring and investing in the use of innovation and technology to create a 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 has remained supportive to APPEALS project as with other Donor/World Bank Assisted Projects in the State through regular payments of counterpart contributions,” the Commissioner said.

Ms Olusanya also commended the Lagos APPEALS Project team for enhancing farmers’ productivity in Lagos State, stating 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 the State of Excellence, is always striving to be better.”

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Hakeem Adeniji, who is the Chairman of APPEALS Project State Technical Committee, said the implementation of the project has received a lot of support from the Governor.

The National Coordinator of the APPEALS Project, Mr Mohammed Sanni Jobdi, who was represented by Dr Salisu Garba, said the project at the national level is encouraged by what the 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.

Mrs Sagoe-Oviebo said APPEALS Project has impacted lives and boosted farmers’ productivity in Lagos State, applauding Mr Sanwo-Olu, the 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.

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