The Lagos State Government says it remains fully committed to its agreements under all Donor/World Bank Assisted Projects to boost food production in the state.
Ms Abisola Olusanya, State Commissioner for Agriculture stated at the opening ceremony World Bank 8th Implementation Support Mission on Monday at Johnson Agricultural Complex Oko-Oba, Agege.
The four-day programme is focusing the on Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Support (APPEALS) Project, a six year project funded by the Federal Government, World Bank and counterparts funding from the Lagos state government.
Olusanya, in her keynote address said that Lagos would continue to excel and ensure that farmers in the state are better off for it.
“We have moral imperative of regular payments of the state’s counterpart contributions to match up the project fund.
“We are not losing focus in ensuring project ownership by our beneficiaries which is linked to sustainability and success rating of project implementation.
“The horizon is bright and I want to assure the mission’s team of the support of the Governor of Lagos state, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu to this project and other development project in the State.
“We will continue to excel and ensure that our farmers are better off for it,” she said.
Olusanya noted that the challenge of inflation as experienced in the country has contributed to the sporadic rise in the prices of Inputs.
She said that the price impact was more pronounced under the Women and Youth Empowerment Programme.
She noted that this was also of great concern in the sub-component three of the project especially under the Farm Access Road and civil work interventions.
“We hope also that all these would be addressed by this crucial implementation support interventions,” she said.
Olusanya noted that APPEALS project has continued to promote productivity enhancement technologies and promotion of value addition through demonstration of improved technologies.
She added that these have directly delivered on the project development objective.
“As a state, we are strongly committed to enhancing the agricultural productivity of small & medium scale farmers and improving value addition along our agricultural value chains, which are the core objectives of the Lagos APPEALS project.
“Lagos State’s Gross National Product [GNP] is three times that of any West African Country, thus making the state ECOWAS’ economic hub and the springboard for innovation and development in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa.
“Most of these technologies were confirmed through administrative data, though an output survey is in the process of being rolled out to confirm the figures,” she said.
The commissioner noted that the implementation of APPEALS project in Lagos through capacity building and technology adoption support to our farmers has positively increased productivity of rice paddy in the state.
She said that rice production increased from 1.5 Metric tons to 2.5 metric tons per hectares, while Ofada rice grew from 2.0 to 3.56 MT per hectare and FARRO 44 rice.
“Catfish productivity has increased from 100 Kg/ m3 to 151.3 Kg / m3 and in poultry, Broiler has increased from 1.8 Kg/ bird per cycle to 2.5 Kg/ bird.
“The processed output and sales of products for the value chains follow the same trend such that the aquaculture farmers supported by APPEALS project have produced 307.948 MT Fresh Tilapia and are expanding day by day.
“I must say that the inclusion of Women and Youth Empowerment Programme in the design of this project is a novel idea because agriculture offers our people, especially our youths, an opportunity to make a difference.
“I am a strong believer that increased involvement of young Nigerians in agriculture will help tackle various longstanding challenges facing the sector,” the commissioner noted.
Dr Adetunji Oredipe, World Bank Task Team Leader of APPEALS Projects said the APPEALS project has added so much value to the agricultural sector in Lagos.
Oredipe said Lagos has done well in it four level of intervention which include Value chain development plan, Women and youth empowerment and infrastructure support to the cluster group where APPEALS project is intervening.
“I will look at it from our four levels of intervention.
“The first and very importance is about changing the way they do business, how they manage their business and what kind of technology are they adopting and what is the technology doing to change their lives.
“On that one and others, I can say with all sense of responsibility that Lagos APPEALS project has really contributed so much in this area.
“We can see that our women who acctually attended this programme today have attested to it today that they are moving into new areas
“All in all, Lagos has done very well and Lagos is just too much,” he said.
Mr Mohammed Jobdi, National Project Coordinator, APPEALS project, Abuja said that the mission was to review the activities of the state under the APPEALS in the last six month.
He added the intervention mission was a routine programme conducted every six months in all APPEALS supporting state.
“This t is a routine process we do every six months, the implementation support mission, it is to review and see what the state is doing from the past mission.
“This mission today will let us know how far as Lagos has faired in the last six months since December 2021,” he said.
Jobdi also commended Lagos state for performing very well based on the report received from it.
He noted that before now, the project had been able to assess the performance of the state intervention and it had been able to as far as the result framework is concern.
“Lagos have been able to support farmers and our beneficiaries up to about 10,000 farmers.
“ As far as the women and youths empowerment programme is concern, we have about 1750 have been trained and also supported with grants to enable the start different enterprises.
In terms of infrastructure, Lagos is doing very in terms of our assessment.