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Food Security: Lagos Government empowers 17,467 farmers in 5 years ─Official

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State

*The Lagos State Government says the ‘Zero Hunger: Forging Ahead Together For Sustainable Action’ project is planned to boost food self-sufficiency in the state

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Lagos State Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement, and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS Project), a World Bank-Assisted Project, has empowered, trained, and supported 17,467 farmers.

ConsumerConnect reports the Lagos State Government (LASG) said the programme with the theme, “Zero Hunger: Forging Ahead Together For Sustainable Action”, is planned to boost food self-sufficiency in the state in five years.

Mrs. Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo, State Project Coordinator, APPEALS, disclosed this to reporters at a media parley Monday, February 28, 2022, at the Lagos APPEALS Coordinating Office, at Oko-Oba, in Agege.

Mrs. Sagoe-Oviebo said that the project had surpassed its target of 10,000 beneficiaries at inception in 2017.

The agricultural project is US$200 World Bank Supported project in six states, including Lagos, Cross-River, Enugu, Kaduna, Kano and Kogi states.

The project, which started March 23, 2017, is expected to end March 31, 2023.

It is estimated to create 10,000 direct beneficiaries per state, with 35 percent direct beneficiaries to be women.

The programme also targets 50,000 farm households per state.

APPEALS project is implemented by state coordinating offices under the state ministry of agriculture, the National Coordinating Office under the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in Abuja, FCT, and the World Bank.

The project has three thematic areas, including food security, export potential, and livelihood improvement.

Sagoe-Oviebo said the farmers were supported in three value chains, poultry, aquaculture and rice.

According to her, the beneficiaries included farmers who benefited directly and indirectly from the project since 2017.

The programme has continued to promote productivity, enhancement of technologies, and value addition through the demonstration of improved technologies, she stated.

The Lagos State APPEALS Project Coordinator also said: “Of the number, 7,533 were trained, 3,950 were supported with farm inputs and equipment, while 1,786 women and youths also benefited with some of them receiving startup grants.

“The APPEALS project has created 12,350 jobs across all its activities and also reduced the likelihood of being poor by  five and 10 percent.

“The productivity of rice paddy in the state has increased from 2.0 metric tons per hectare to 3.5 metric tonnes.”

She further noted: “Tilapia has increased from 100 kg to 140 kg, while broiler increased from 1.8kg a bird per cycle to 2.35 kg bird.

“The project has de-silted various drainage channels aqua for aquaculture farmers around Erunwen, Adamo, Igbe, Ijede , Omitoro, Parafa in Ikorodun and Ebute-Afuye, Epe and others.

Ofada Rice dish

“There has been a significant increase in the three value chains of the project in the state which are aquaculture, poultry and rice with improved technologies.”

Sagoe-Oviebo also disclosed that the rice value chain had achieved a lot with the new Ofada strain which has multiple yields for the farmers.

The quality of rice has been greatly enhanced, stated.

Besides, she said that products in rice and aquaculture value chains had met international market standards, and currently are enjoying export opportunities.

She as well observed that the project has supported some farmers with colour sorting machines to make the Ofada rice presentable and marketable.

“Our target is to make one of our products get into the  international market and we have been able to achieve this in  rice and aquaculture.

“We have also supported our farmers in the poultry value chain with pelletised feeds, nipple drinkers and probiotics, and it has helped them to now produce poultry all year round,  instead of seasonal farming,” Sagoe-Oviebo stated.

In 2022, the Lagos State Government, under the project, would complete the recently approved construction of 15 cottage industries in 15 different areas of the state, and purchase transformers for farmers in Araga, Epe.

“On the plans for this year,  the APPEALS project will be boosting farmers capacity to produce egg powder and also fish canning technology for tilapia.

“We will support some farmers with transformers, while more roads will be constructed for farm estates as well as jetty interventions at Afowo cage culture, Epe.

“We have a lot going on this year and  a number of business plans will be approved for farmers,” she said.

Sagoe-Oviebo, therefore,  urged the farmers in the state  to own the project as it enters the final implementing year.

She assured them that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State would continue to support the project even after it has ended officially.

The Project Coordinator commended the Sanwo-Olu administration for supporting the project and by including more women and people living with disability as beneficiaries.

Some beneficiaries of the project at the forum also applauded the Lagos State Government and APPEALS project for the empowerment.

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