With food security being a major topic on global developmental fora, the Lagos State Government has pledged its commitment to increase the state’s food production level by 25% in the year 2018. This is on the backdrop of the forth coming World Food Day, tagged Family Farming: “Feeding the world, caring for the earth”
The disclosure was made in a statement by the Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, while briefing newsmen on the activities slated for this year’s World Food Day at Alausa, Ikeja.
In his words, ‘‘the decision to set the 25 percent target was to ensure that the state’s teeming population did not at any time experience food scarcity. Lagos is a consuming state. We started by producing five percent food production but have up-scaled to 10 percent production. We are now targeting 25 percent food production by 2018.’’
While acknowledging the potential challenges towards achieving the stipulated objective, Prince Lawal outlined the strategies to be employed to ensure its realization, which he stated would include the incorporation of various value chains. “We are working on value chains, such as fish production, livestock production and others. We have demonstrated that we can achieve the set target. We have been developing our fish estates, vegetable estates and poultry farming. There are lots of commercial farmers coming on board and I see the possibility of us achieving our target in the next four years’’ He said.
Speaking on the issue of providing affordable – adequate food, he noted that the state government had embarked on a number of interventions such as Agric Youth Empowerment Scheme, FADAMA II Development Project, development of modern abattoirs, piggery development programme, and provision of effective extension service through Agricultural Development Authority, among other related initiatives.
He also commented on the aptness of the World Food Day theme ‘‘Family Farming’’ which he noted was in sync with the present administration’s goal to promote backyard farming for families in the state for the cultivation of vegetable beds, pepper, tomatoes, maize etc.
According to him, a series of activities have been lined up for the celebration which include: Agricultural School Quiz Competition featuring 20 selected schools, the Lagos All Farmers’ Forum and the empowerment of over 3,000 youths and farmers in various enterprise under the Agricultural Value Chain by Governor Babatunde Fashola on the grande finale – October 16th.