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Food Security: Lagos CARES empowers over 1,531 farmers with productive, processing equipment

Individuals and Farmers' Groups at the Distribution of Farming Assets at Lagos Farm Service Centre, Agege Photo: NAN

*The Lagos COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus Programme (Lagos-CARES) discloses the exercise is part of the state government’s effort at mitigating the far-reaching impact of COVID-19 and recent fuel subsidy removal on Nigerian consumers

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As part of its effort at minimising the far-reaching impact of the damaging Coronavirus  pandemic and recent fuel subsidy removal on consumers, the Lagos COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus Programme (Lagos-CARES) has distributed various farm assets to 1,531 processing and producing farmers in the cosmopolitan state.

Mr. Jonathan Obayemi, Lagos State Project Coordinator of FADAMA, while speaking at the distribution held Tuesday, August 15, 2023, at the Lagos Farm Service Centre, Agege, said the assets would be distributed to individuals and farmers’ groups.

The agricultural empowerment programme is a tripartite agreement between the Federal Government, 36 State Governments and the World Bank, agency report said.

Obayemi disclosed the exercise is part of the state government’s effort at mitigating the impact of COVID-19 disease and fuel subsidy removal on the populace.

He stated: “This empowerment programme is aimed at supporting farmers after the COVID-19 pandemic as well as mitigate the impact of fuel subsidy removal.

“Today, what we are doing is just the continuation of our disbursement to beneficiaries under the Lagos CARES programme through Lagos State FADAMA coordination office, under the Ministry of Agriculture.”

The Lagos FADAMA Project Coordinator further said: “Today, we are disbursing to over 1,531 beneficiaries.

“This will bring the total number of beneficiaries so far to 10,000 farmers with productive and processing assets under the Lagos-CARES programme.”

According to him, under the Lagos CARES programme, the 13,943 beneficiaries drawn from 37 Local Governments and 57 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) would be supported with inputs and agriculture infrastructure improvement programme.

Obayemi, however, stated that over 10,000 farmers had benefited from the programme directly thus far.

He assured that more farmers would be shortlisted as well as supported in the next phase of the empowerment programme.

“We have a target of about 13, 943 individuals to be directly supported. So far, we have been able to reach about 10,000 beneficiaries directly,” said he.

Impact of Lagos CARES programme

Obayemi as well noted the continuous Lagos CARES programme has indirectly impacted over 100,000 families.

The Project Coordinator also explained the assets distributed included 50 Balley cages, 27 water tanks, 83 fish tanks, 153 water pump, 10 submersible, two surface, six water hose, 12 motorised sprayer, 68 gas burner, 68 gas cylinders, five smoking kilns, nine deep Freezer and nine generators.

He, therefore, urged the agri-programme beneficiaries to make judicious use of the farm assets, noting the impact would reflect on their total outputs.

Obayemi urged the group leaders to share the assets received on behalf of their members evenly.

He said: “I urge you to make good use of the assets and support received.

“We know this is a very challenging time for our country, but I can assure Lagos residents that with this intervention and several other initiative coming under the administration of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, people will begin to feel positive impact and reduction in the price of food items.”

The Project Coordinator added: “I thank all our stakeholders for being supportive, and I thank our farmers community associations for their cooperation and resilient because I believe farmers should be commended for their effort for putting food on the table.

“We urge you to use the assets judiciously to boost food production and improve your livelihood after COVID-19 and mitigate the impact of fuel subsidy removal.”

Beneficiaries laud Lagos Government 

Some beneficiaries also commended Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State for his continuous support and empowerment to farmers in the state.

Mr. Tai Benedict, Chairman, Bosere Farm Group, Epe, Lagos, thanked the state government for the initiative and urged it to do more to help farmers.

Benedict confirmed that the group received 10 motorised sprayers for pest control on their farms .

He said: “We are tax payers, so government should do more to support us so that we can boost food production.

“The assets received will help our members to fight pest infestation during planting season.”

In her remarks on the distributed farming assets, Mrs. Afusat Suleimon, Chairman, Alubarikaloju Fish Processing Group, Eputu, Ibeju-Lekki, also commended the LASG for the support, describing it as lifesaving in the state.

Sulaimon said the group of 10 received a Deep Freezer, generator, smoking kilns and industrial scale.

The farmer asserted the assets she received would boost production and better the lives of members during challenges.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, we lost a lot, our businesses collapsed and many of our members have not recovered.”

The farm assets would help group members to improve businesses and provide opportunity to export products, stated Mrs. Sulaimon.

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