The Lagos State Government says it has spent over N300m in providing farm inputs for 3,149 farmers under the Agric Value Chains Empowerment programme of the state government. The Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Mr. Gbolahan Lawal, made the disclosure at the distribution of farm inputs to the beneficiaries at the Johnson Agiri Agric Complex, Agege, Lagos, a statement said on Sunday.
The farmers were empowered in various enterprises, such as artisanal fishing, horticulture, poultry feed, butchery, fish processing and fish marketing. Lawal said the ministry zoned the state into four for easy access to the beneficiaries. He said, “The zones are Mowo, Badagry; Odogunyan, Ikorodu; Araga, Epe and Agege. Collection has started with 320 beneficiaries in Mowo, 747 in Odogunyan and 260 in Araga; while 1,550 would get their inputs in Agege.”
He added that the government redoubled its effort in the area of agriculture, with major improvement in budget allocation to the sector, in order to reduce poverty. Lawal said in a bid to boost agricultural productivity, the government had provided a 20,000 capacity rice mill to produce between 300,000 and 400,000 bags of rice annually, while its cassava factory had the capacity to produce 32 tonnes of high quality flour per week.
He stated that 63 herds of cattle would be given to 252 butchers, with 1,000 personal protective equipment, adding that the state government had decided that the empowerment would be on an annual basis. The commissioner, while urging the beneficiaries to utilise their inputs to boost food production, said over 2,000 new applications had been received from other farmers who wanted to benefit from the programme.