Farmers across all the three Senatorial Districts of the State, on Thursday, benefited from the State Government’s initiative under the State Programme for Food Security (SPFS) with the donation of several millions of Naira as cash support to farmers, as well as distribution of different farming implements to the beneficiaries.
Speaking during the presentation of cheques and farming tools to the beneficiaries at the Y2021 Farmers’ Field/Appreciation Day held at Agege, Lagos, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, explained that the event was designed to appreciate and support farmers through the presentation of farming inputs, seeds and financial assistance to enhance their productivity.
She explained that the event, which was organised by the government, through the Lagos State Agricultural Development Authority (LSADA), under the auspices of National Programme for Food Security (NPFS), seeks to address the problem of household food security and poverty among farmers across the country.
She added that the State Programme for Food Security (SPFS) has also provided support services such as extension, credit, nutrition education to farmers and consumers in the State, thereby improving their standards of living and livelihood.
The Commissioner maintained that “We must always bear in mind that farming at any scale is a business and businesses need clear linkages along the value chain from production to processing, to marketing and ultimately to consumption”.
“Investing in these farmers, many of whom are women and in the markets around them, is more important than ever. In order to feed a population expected to grow globally to nine billion people by Y2050, the world will needs to be more efficient in how it meets this demand”, she added.
While congratulating the beneficiaries of the programme, the Commissioner urged them not to rest on their oars but put in their best and increase food production across the State.
Also speaking at the event, the representative of the National Coordinator of NPFS, Engr. Hassan Bawa, disclosed that the Federal Government in 2002 initiated and designed the National Programme for Food Security (NPFS).
According to him, Lagos State Programme for Food Security, LPFS, is the State branch of NPFS initiated to improve national and household food security, reduce rural poverty on a sustainable basis and also increase agricultural output and the incomes of rural households and beneficiary communities.
Bawa acknowledged the commitment of the Lagos State government towards the sustenance of the initiative, attributing it to purposeful leadership on the part of successive administrations in the State.
He said that Lagos State, being one of the selected States for the pilot phase, recorded an impressive performance which qualified the State for the Expanded Phase and later on the third phase, noting that Lagos has qualified for another five years with full support from the National Headquarters.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Hakeem Adeniji, described the farmers as responsible individuals, who will add to the vision of the State Government, and advised them to leverage technology to improve their farming method in order to align with their peers across the globe.
In his words: “You can only do us proud if what is given to you to boost your production and business is applied appropriately to expand the growth of your businesses. With that, you will be fulfilling the objectives of this programme, which is to enhance food security of the State on a daily basis”.
Earlier, the General Manager, Lagos State Agricultural Development Authority, Dr. Ferreira Sheteolu, informed that the agency is saddled with the responsibility of generating and distributing improved farming technology, new innovations and practices to farmers in the State.
According to him, the idea of procuring and distributing various farm inputs such as Knapsack Sprayers, Organic manure, Cutlasses, Hoes, Safety gadgets, Digital movable scales, Compost Plus and Water pumps among others, to farmer groups, will assist them in expanding their farms and food production in the State.
He revealed that a total of 6,650 farmers had benefitted so far from the programme, adding that the Y2021 edition of the initiative will directly impact 2,310 farmers through their various representatives.
Some of the Farmers’ Groups that have already benefitted from the initiative are Igbalu Gberigbe Site 6, Ayobo Ipaja Site 7, Labora Cams Site 2, Igbogbo Bayeiku Site 10, Mitonwe Tiwani Cams, Ajara Iya Afin Site 9 and Evergreen cams and Ibeju-Lekki Site 5 among others.