The Lagos State Government has declared that no fewer than 879 farmers and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) across poultry, aquaculture and rice value chains have directly benefited from the Lagos Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project in the last three years.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, who made this known at the Pre-6th Implementation Support Mission of the Project held at Orchid Hotels, Lekki, explained that the beneficiaries were empowered with physical inputs and equipment to help them improve their productivity in the respective value chains.
Olusanya, who spoke through the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Olayiwole Onasanya, noted that another set of 3,516 stakeholders in the agricultural sector also benefitted indirectly from the APPEALS Project, while over 8,000 farmers received training and tutorials with strong evidence of a positive resultant effect on the output of these stakeholders and farmers.
According to her, the State Steering Committee and State Technical Committee have been performing their oversight functions in ensuring that the Project implementation remains on course, adding that the Project’s stakeholders have expressed satisfaction with the level of interventions.
Olusanya also disclosed that the State Government is providing maximum support to the Project by ensuring that the contributions of these value chains to food security, local production, improvement of livelihood, as well as the creation of an export market, are sustained by Government through its T.H.E.M.E.S developmental agenda while also exploring and investing in the use of innovation and technology to create competitive advantage.
She gave an assurance that the State would come up with a conducive regulatory framework and a business-friendly environment, through commercial support for the key economic sectors, especially agriculture, stating that the government would always contribute its quota to all donor/World Bank Assisted Projects and ensure regular payments of its counterpart contributions.
Imploring the Support Mission’s Team to look critically at ways of removing all bottlenecks associated with the implementation of APPEALS project, Olusanya observed the need to prevent the looming food crisis associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and other security challenges in the country.
Speaking earlier, the National Project Coordinator for the APPEALS Project, Mr. Mohammed Jobdi explained that the essence of the Pre-6th Implementation Support Mission was to critique and assess the work done so far in terms of projects implemented, farmers trained, empowered and many other issues before the actual meetings with the World Bank and other stakeholders.
Jobdi stated that the Mission was flagged off to appraise activities in the fields, take stock of progress made and review the implementation process to determine the present situation and project for the years ahead.
Lagos State Coordinator for the APPEALS Project, Mrs. Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo appreciated the State Government for its unwavering support and commitment to the Project.