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Lagos govt empowers 6,650 farmers, says official

By Uchenna Eletuo [NAN]

The Lagos State Government has empowered 6,650 farmers with farm inputs and cash grants to ensure adequate food production and supply to residents.

The Programme Manager, Lagos State Agricultural Development Authority (LASADA), Dr. Olamilekan Pereira-Sheteolu made this known on Sunday during an appraisal farm visit to Ikorodu, Lagos.

Pereira-Sheteolu spoke on the need for improved production.

He said that the state’s rapidly-growing population should spur farmers into commercial farming to meet up the demand for food.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that LASADA is  charged with the responsibility of generating and disseminating improved farming technology, new innovations and practices to farmers in the state.

The programme manager urged farmers to be business- oriented.

He also said that crop farmers must realised that their occupation was a business.

Pereira-Sheteolu explained that the state had made it a routine to empower farmers through their registered groups with inputs and grants, saying that not less than 6, 650 farmers had benefited so far.

Businesses need clear linkages along the value chain, from production, to processing to marketing and ultimately to consumption.

“To ensure that people get sufficient food, aligning short-term and long-term development strategies can help the countries feed their people.

“Investing in these farmers, most of who are women and in the markets around them, is more important than ever.

“In order to feed a population expected to grow globally to nine billion people by 2050, the world will have to double its current food production.

“Lagos State having envisaged the population growth presently and in the near future, given the imminent scarce natural resources and other challenges; broadening the horizon of our farmers cannot be underestimated,” he said.

Pereira-Sheteolu assured farmers of continuous government support.

He said that the state would not rest on the capacity of the 6, 650 empowered farmers so far but would co-opt more youths into the scheme.

He encouraged the farmers to embrace available technology and innovations being churned out by the agency for improved production and attract the youths into the scheme.

The Spokesman for the farmers, Mr. Anthony Olarewaju, a Fish and Vegetable Farmer, was happy and expressed his gratitude for the state’s support to farmers.

On behalf of the farmers, Olarewaju, pledged adequate food supply to residents.

He said that they looked forward to receiving tractors from the state government to aid production as promised by the commissioner. (NAN)

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