The Lagos State Government says it projects that the total investment into the agricultural sector from the government, private sector, donor agencies and development partners will run into over N41 billion in the state’s five-year Agricultural Roadmap.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Gbolahan Lawal, gave the projection on Wednesday in Lagos at a Roundtable Discussion on the Implementation of the State’s 5-year Agricultural Roadmap (2020-2025).
He listed some of the planned projects as Fisheries Value Chain – Cage and Pen Culture, Fish Farm Estate Development, Artisanal Fisheries Development; and Poultry Value Chain – Broiler Production and Egg Production.
Others include Piggery Value Chain: Establishment of new Pig Estates and Processing facilities; Coconut Value Chain which include the consolidation of land for coconut plantation, Out Grower Scheme for Improved Seedlings, Establishment of Coconut Industrial Park, Establishment of One-Stop Coconut Market and Value Addition Processing.
Lawal, in an overview, tagged: “A Sustainable and Inclusion Growth Strategy with the Citizens at the Core”, said youths and women would be given priority in all interventions in the roadmap.
He called for more private sector-driven agricultural interventions and the provision of robust market information systems for Agricultural Value Chain actors.
According to him, the call is imperative in order to have adequate planning and circumvent risks and uncertainties in the sector.
“Using other economies that achieved economic growth using agriculture as a model, the lesson for the state is that there must be massive investment in infrastructure, encouraging more private sector-driven agricultural interventions.
“There must be formulating of policies that can encourage private sector investment and provision of robust market information systems for agricultural value chain actors in order to have adequate planning and circumvent risks and uncertainties,” Lawal said.
The commissioner said the strategies to be employed for sustainable agricultural development during this period would be hinged on three pillars.
He said they include growing the upstream sector through interventions by leveraging on technologies that are capable of lowering the cost of production of value chains such as fisheries, poultry, piggery, rice, vegetables and coconut with support from donor agencies.
According to the commissioner, the other pillars include growing midstream and downstream sectors such as value addition, processing, handling, storage, cold chain, packaging, utilisation and commercialisation of all agricultural value chains.
He said that interventions for the road map would be in line with a strategic focus to drive agricultural growth and food security in a clear and measurable way.
Earlier in her address of welcome, the Special Adviser to the governor on Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, called for a symbiotic relationship where the private sector would be the main driver and stimulant of agricultural development in the State.
Olusanya said such a symbiotic relationship would make the government a catalyst and an enabler of smart agriculture that would not only ensure job creation, increase farm income and food security, but would also preserve the environment and future.
According to her, the expected overall outcomes of the roundtable discussion are improved food hygiene, food safety, food security, employment generation and wealth creation.
In his remarks, Mr Kehinde Joseph, Chairman, Lagos State House Committee on Agriculture, said the expenditure of the ministry was higher than the income.
He said the ministry had N3 billion expenditure in 2019 and a proposed N4 billion in 2020 budget.
The lawmaker said sustainability of the proposed roadmap was key to the development of the sector.
Joseph called for legislative backing for the five-year roadmap to ensure its sustainability.
According to him, the executive and the legislature must collaborate on various policies for them to be sustained by every government to ensure continued implementation.
By our correspondent