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May 2024

Lagos-Niger partnership to boost rice production- Govt

By Gbenga Oloniniran

The Lagos State Government has said its partnership with Niger State is to boost rice production.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Dr. Oluwarotimi Fashola, on Tuesday, said the government, through its Rice Mill Initiative, was partnering with different states in Nigeria to sustain the availability of paddy production and enhance productivity.

Fashola spoke while the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, was giving the report of the ministry in Ikeja to commemorate the first year of the second term in office of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

Sanwo-Olu took the oath of office for his second term as governor on May 29, 2023, promising in his inaugural speech not to let down Lagosians.

Fashola said, “Because of the size of rice needed, Mr Governor signed an MOU with Niger State, being the largest producer of paddy in the country. The Imota rice mill needed 200,000 tonnes of paddy. The partnership with other states is to ensure the sustainability of production. We extend our hand of fellowship to all the South-West states.”

The government also said it would launch 50 meat vans at Oko-Oba Abbatoir and also launch the Lagos Last Mile Meat Shops.

The agric commissioner, Abisola, said Lagos remained committed to creating an organised food system and value chain destination and it was working around its five-year Agricultural and Food Systems Roadmap (2021-2025) as well as the Food Security Systems Policy Document.

She said the unveiling of Lagos Last Mile Meat shops and utilisation of new vans would ensure the availability of meat for residents, create market access and curb the illegality in the transportation of meat across the state.

The commissioner added that the state in the last year had launched various social intervention programmes such as Trader Money for market men and women, and embarked on agric business support initiatives while building farms across the state.

She added, “The government has over the last year secured the Lagos food system, leaving no one behind through the Lagos Agric Scholars’ programme while supporting with extension services. We have also supported more than 23,986 farmers thereby exceeding our target, which included rice, fish and poultry farmers.

And the state government has, through its Coconut Value Chain Development, trained youths and with the Eko Agro Mechanisation Project, the state has been able to procure tractors, mechanised farm implements for the beneficiaries.”

Abisola said the state through the Ministry of Agriculture had continued to embark on social interventions under the Eko Cares Initiative which include the Ounje Eko, food discounted sales, distribution of staple foods to vulnerable families, a welfare initiative for residents, among others. QR Code

Published Date: May 8, 2024

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