The Lagos State Government is planning to expand its rice mill at Imota from 2.5 metric tones per hour to 16 metric tones per hour and the state government has called on private sector operators to invest in rice processing.Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Oluwatoyin Suarau said this today at the 2017 Ministerial Press Briefing of the Ministry of Agriculture to commemorate the second year in office of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode led administration in Lagos State.
Suarau in his address to the press disclosed that the state government is committed to boosting rice production in the state. According to him ‘ a total of 100 farmers through the FADAMA III additional financing programme are producing rice in Itokin in Epe Local Government.Rice cultivation has so far improved in the state from less than one ton per hectare to about 3 tons per hectare with double cropping in some areas where irrigation facilities are provided.’
The commissioner in his speech noted that the Agric Youth Empowerment scheme has trained over 500 youths in courses I -V.300 trainees in courses I,II and III have been settled on various farms while courses IV and V are waiting for empowerment.He also said products from the scheme include over 1,500 crates of egg per day, 2,000 broilers per month,18 tonnes of fresh fish per cycle and 160 tones of cabbage ,sweet melon ,cucumber ,pepper and assorted leafy vegetables.
Suarau also revealed that the state government was intensifying efforts to establish additional farm estates in Eluju-Mowo and igbodu respectively to foster Public-Private Partnership, PPP, arrangement, adding also that effort to set up a cattle fattening estate in Imota through PPP was on course.
“This Estate Initiative is subsequent to the effort of government to address the various challenges facing agriculture in the State such as declining land for agricultural activities, encroachment by land speculators as well as promoting the utilisation of agricultural land for its intended purposes”, Suarau stated.
In the year of review Suarau noted that 315 women and youth were trained and 51 empowered in poultry, rice and Aquaculture value chain while 95,966 bags of Lagos-Kebbi,LAKE rice was produced and sold to the residents of Lagos at an affordable price.
In a question and answer session with Journalist at the briefing,Special Adviser to the Governor on Food Security, Mr. Ganiyu Okanlawon said Agriculture has the highest demonstrated potential for job and wealth creation and it is against this background that the agricultural sector should be one of the key instruments of achieving great result.