In line with the present administration’s Sustainable Food Security Initiative, the Lagos State Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, has concluded plans to host a Food Security Summit in June, 2016.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Suarau Oluwatoyin Isiaka, disclosed this on Tuesday at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, Ikeja, during the 2016 Ministerial Press Briefing of the State Government in commemoration of the first year in office of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
He stated that the summit becomes imperative in order to redress the food security challenges in the State, stressing that it is expected to attract organizations that seek to partner with the State in the realization of its Food Security Agenda.
According to him, “The Summit is also aimed at unlocking the agricultural potentials in the State which will ultimately open up employment and investment opportunities with improved social welfare.”
“In spite of Lagos high industrialized status, population density of about 5,000 per square km and pressure on land for non-agricultural purposes the State Government has intensified efforts in the areas where it has comparative ecological and socio-economic advantages over others. These agricultural areas include fisheries, livestock and vegetable production as well as agro-processing, with emphasis on value addition.”
He noted that agriculture has the highest demonstrated potential for job and wealth creation, hence the sector should be one of the key instruments of emancipation from impoverishment and road-map to elimination of poverty in the State
The Commissioner averred that, although the aggregate food supply internally is less than 15% of total food consumption, the State is poised to increase this to 25% within the next four years through its various strategic food security plan.
Suarau reiterated that some of the programmes in the Strategic Food Security Plan of the Ambode led administration which has been strengthened in the last one year include collaboration between Lagos and Kebbi States for the development of agricultural commodities like rice, maize/Sorghum, wheat, groundnuts, onions and beef value chains. The Agric Youth Empowerment Scheme (AGRIC YES) at Araga, Epe, and Coconut Development in the State for tourism and poverty alleviation.
Others include Estate Initiative on Poultry, fish, vegetables and arable crops, input subsidy and organic farming promotion to increase farmers’ income, School Agricultural Programme and provision of lands to farmers through the procurement of 900 hectares of land in Igbodu and other areas in the state among others.