Lagos State Government on Thursday said Imota Rice Mill is 80 percent completed. This was disclosed by the Commissioner for Agriculture,Prince Gbolahan Lawal while rendering the account of activities of his Ministry within the last one year to commemorate the first year anniversary of the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu led administration noted that these agricultural projects .
According to him ” This Mill has attained 80 percent completion level compared to the 35 percent completion level when Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu was sworn in May 2019 as Governor of Lagos State.
” When operational the Mill will ensure steady supply of freshly processed rice of about 2.4 million bags of 50 kg per annum to Lagosians in addition to over 250,000 jobs that would’ve created in both the upstream and downstream sectors of the rice chain value”
Lawal in his address also said that some other projects of the Sanwo-olu led administration in the last one year are the Songhai Project now Avia Food Production Centre, the Araga Food Production Centre, the establishment of one ton per hour Fish Feed Mill (Extruder System) and the establishment of the Wholesale Produce Market.
According to him, others are the establishment of Strategic Food Reserve, empowerment of Lagos Agriprenurship Programme (LAP) graduands as well as the establishment of 160 hectares feedlot at Imota, Epe.
He added that the present situation of food security in the State has been especially impacted by the lessons learnt from the corona virus pandemic, a situation that has made deliberate efforts and policy formulation on the part of the Government imperative.
The Commissioner explained that these deliberate efforts and policy formulation by the State Government has prepared her adequately for future events that may want to test the food reserve and supply system of the State.
“In line with the 5- Year Agricultural Development Road Map earlier developed by the Ministry of Agriculture that highlighted intervention areas to boost productivity along the value chains where the State has comparative advantages, this pandemic has brought to fore the need to shore up quickly the food security status of the State previously at 18% with a goal to scale up to 40% in order to prevent another kind of pandemic in the form of food scarcity.
“This therefore calls for deliberate effort and policy formulation on the part of Government in order to prepare for future events that may want to test the food reserve and supply system of the State.
“The Ministry is therefore to embark on some of these projects in the course of the year to shore up the food security status of the State,” Lawal averred.
He pointed out that these agricultural projects would no doubts increase agricultural production that will meet the food needs of the State’s growing population and transform agriculture to commercial and export-oriented production by essentially focusing on boosting local food production and employment generation especially for the youth.
The Commissioner added in addition, these projects would also provide training facilities for agriprenuers, youths, women and students in agricultural schemes; promote efficient distribution systems for agricultural produce through wholesale, retail and distribution channels; provide good storage facilities for a purposeful food reserve in the State as well as generate more revenue for the State.
“The objectives of these projects include boosting local food production; creating employment opportunities especially for the youth; providing training facilities for agripreneurs, youth, women and students in agricultural schemes; promoting efficient distribution systems for agricultural produce through wholesale, retail and distribution channels; providing good storage facilities for a purposeful food reserve in the state and ggenerating more revenue for the State,” the Commissioner explained.
He assured that the State Government would not rest on its oars but would rather continue to intensify efforts in the agricultural space especially where the State has comparative ecological and socio- economic advantages.