The Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Oluwatoyin Suarau, has said that the new World Bank Project, Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project, will ensure food security and increase the capacity of farmers in the state.
The Commissioner who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Olayiwola Onasanya, at a sensitisation programme of the project held in Lagos on Thursday said the state government was constructing a 32 tonnes per hour rice mill to serve the state and the entire South-West.
“The 32 tonnes per hour rice mill will directly or indirectly employ at least 250,000 people who are rice growers, marketers and transporters.
“In the next few weeks, women and youths empowerment programme will be unveiled across Lagos state where 400 women and youths will be empowered in agriculture. That means more people will be employed and more food on the table.”
The State Project Coordinator of APPEALS, Mrs Oluranti Oviebo, stated that the project was birthed to enhance agricultural productivity of small and medium scale farmers and improve value addition along poultry, aquaculture and rice value chains in Lagos state.
Oviebo said the project’s aim was to use technology to develop the productivity in the state adding that the use of technologies around the world will be used, not only in Nigeria.
She said, “One of the key things that this project is looking at is how we can enhance the productivity of farmers through improved technologies.
“We are also set to build the capacity of our farmers. Knowledge is power, if you give a farmer money and he doesn’t know what to do with it, then you have put your money in a bottomless pit. So, we are looking at how we can improve their capacity using new technologies all around the world.”