Lagos State says that no fewer than 879 farmers and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) across poultry, aquaculture and rice value chains have directly benefited from the Lagos Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project in the last three years.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya who made this known over the weekend at the Pre-6th Implementation Support Mission of the Project held at Orchid Hotels, Lekki explained that these farmers and SMEs have been empowered with physical inputs and equipment to help them improve their productivity in the stipulated value chains.
Olusanya who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Olayiwole Onasanya noted that another set of 3,516 stakeholders in the agricultural sector also benefitted indirectly from the APPEALS Project while well over 8,000 farmers received one form of trainings and demonstrations with strong evidences of positive resultant effect on the output of these stakeholders and farmers.
According to her, the State Steering Committee and State Technical Committee have been performing their oversight functions in ensuring that the Project implementation remains on course adding that the Project’s stakeholders have so far been satisfied with the level of interventions.
“It gives me great pleasure to address the members of the Pre-6th Implementation Support Mission of the APPEALS project here in Lagos today.
“This is yet another opportunity for us to interact and contribute immensely to the actualization of the project’s objective of enhancing agricultural productivity of small and medium scale farmers and improving value addition along the chosen priority value chains which are Poultry, Aquaculture and Rice in the State.
“The State Steering Committee (SSC) and State Technical Committee (STC) have been performing their oversight functions in ensuring that the project implementation remains on course and I make bold to say that project stakeholders have so far been satisfied with the level of interventions.
“A total of 879 Farmers, SMEs have been supported directly with physical inputs and equipment across Poultry, Rice and Aquaculture while 3,516 stakeholders have benefitted indirectly. Over 8000 Farmers have received trainings/ Demonstrations with strong evidences of positive resultant effect on the Project Development Objective,” the Commissioner said.
Olusanya disclosed that the State Government is providing maximum support to the Project in ensuring that the contributions of these value chains to food security, local production, improvement of livelihood as well as creation of export market are sustained as Government through its T.H.E.M.E.S developmental Agenda is exploring and investing in the use of innovation and technology to create competitive advantage in ensuring that Lagos attains a 21st century economy and agriculture remains one of the major drivers in achieving the feat.
She assured that the State would come up with a conducive regulatory framework and a business-friendly environment where commerce could thrives by providing support for the key economic sectors in which Agriculture is a major part.
The Commissioner added that the State Government would always contribute its quota to all donor/World Bank Assisted Projects through regular payments of its counterpart contributions as well as provision of capable human resources for the successful implementation of these projects.
She therefore implored the Mission’s Team to look critically at ways of removing all bottle necks associated with the implementation of APPEALS project especially because of the looming food crisis associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and other security challenges in the country.
“Lagos State being a State of Excellence is always striving to be better. As small as our land is, we want to produce significantly more crops per acre, improve quantity and quality of produce, mitigate against risk and secure the environment. It is part of the mandate of the project to come up with climate smart and nutrition sensitive technologies to achieve this strength.
“I implore this mission’s team to look critically at ways of removing all bottlenecks associated with the implementation of APPEALS project especially because of the looming food crisis associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and other security challenges in the country.
“Stakeholders in two of our value chains; Poultry and Aquaculture are facing a major challenge of feed cost. The solution to this and many more crisis is what we as executors of intervention projects should be looking into,” Olusanya averred.
Speaking earlier, the National Project Coordinator for the APPEALS Project, Mr. Mohammed Jobdi explained that the essence of the Pre-6th Implementation Support Mission was to critique and assess the Project’s work so far in terms of projects implemented, farmers trained and empowered and many others before the actual meetings with the World Bank and other stakeholders in the budget.
Jobdi stated that the Mission was flagged off bearing in mind that as stated in the budget, the Team was supposed to go out to the fields, take stock of all that has been done and review the implementation process to see how far it has come and how to move it forward in years to come.
“We started this Implementation Support Mission in Kaduna State a few days ago and we are in Lagos State today to replicate virtually the same thing. I know that Lagos has done a lot in terms of the development of VCIPs which have been cleared by the Bank and is being implemented. Also in the area of women and youths, a number of VIPs have developed and also approved by the Bank.
“With all these and other aspects of the budget including technology adoptions and environmental issues, it is of course an opportunity to look back and see how far we have fared, where we got it wrong and more importantly, to access ourselves in house before approaching the World Bank.
“At the end of the exercise, we will all converge and proceed to Enugu State where we will have our Teams wrap up. ” the National Project Coordinator asserted.
Lagos State Coordinator for the APPEALS Project, Mrs. Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo appreciated the State Government for its unwavering support and commitment to the Project.