Lagos Boosts Agricultural Productivity With APPEALS Project


BY GEORGE OKOJIE, Lagos

Aware that Agriculture will not only ensure food security but a critical weapon of fighting poverty, Lagos State Government has fully keyed into the Agro-processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) project which is a comprehensive six years World Bank assisted project aimed at supporting farmers productivity and their linkages to markets, facilitating farmers and small and medium businesses, among others.

Lagos State Government under the leadership of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is currently using the basic strategy of the project to increase productivity, improve processing and marketing of targeted value chains which are expected to foster job creation.

Speaking at a media parley in Lagos, the State’s project coordinator, Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo, seasoned agric administrator said the is designed to directly assist 10,000 farmers and 50,000 beneficiaries indirectly with grants to ensure food security, create jobs and engender export opportunity for farm produce of Nigerian farmers.

According to her, 3000 farmers have benefited under Project Ben in Lagos while 10,000 were being targeted, adding that a total package of about N2.5 million goes to beneficiaries in form of capacity building, grant elements among others.

Harping on achievements so far in the state, she said,’’ 879 farmers, SMEs had been supported directly with physical inputs and equipment across Poultry , Rice and Aquaculture . However, 3, 516 had benefited indirectly.

‘’Over 8000 Farmers had received training, demonstrations with strong evidence of positive resultant effect on the PDO Challenges, Delay in getting CAC certificate for beneficiaries under the Women and Youths Empowerment Programme (WYEP) . Projects such as Farm Access Rehabilitation were backloaded because certain activities must precede .  Hence the project could only be done later in the year.

She said a cluster of fish farmers at Badagry has adopted the production of fish crackers and fish cakes, saying over 1000 packs of fish fillets and crackers had been produced and sold during the period.

‘’Use of Nets for control of birds in rice farming. Over 100 Rice Farmers in Ganyingbo, Badagry are presently trying this technology with other agronomic practices learnt through the state collaboration with AfricaRice IITA, Ibadan.

‘’Desilting, channelization of canals along an array of earthen ponds in Ikorodu to reduce fish losses due to flooding was done. Not less than 100 fish farmers benefited.

‘’The design of 13.16 km Access Roads in four locations in three local government areas has commenced, the inception report already submitted.

She lamented that, ‘’Activities under the project collaborations with Research Institutes were greatly affected by COVID-19 and #EndSARS crisis. It contributed immensely to 2020 project implementation performance. However  the project had maintained good relationship with AfricaRice under the outgrower scheme as well as seed certification in conjunction with Rice Seed Council during the period.’’

Sagoe-Oviebo assured that the project will continue to build on the successes made in 2020 towards achieving the overall Project Development objective as well as contributing to the THEMES agenda of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

This she said will include, ‘’Physical support to about 3,000 small and medium scale farmers directly and 12,000 indirectly through our infrastructure support , job creation, training , etc.

‘’1465 businesses for WYEP including people with disability will be established in 2021 and their livelihood improved through physical improved assets support. Others will be done in 2022.

‘’Desilting of canals in five locations across the state will be delivered to reduce fish losses and enhancement productivity in the sector.’’

According to her, 20 Energy interventions in two locations will be done, adding that 10 Cottage processing industries, Aggregation centres, income generating assets will be done as training and demonstration continue.

 


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