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Lagos Govt. identifies 3000 entrepreneurs for agriculture empowerments

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

In a bid to ensure food security across Lagos, the State Government has disclosed that at least 3,000 entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector would be empowered during this year’s annual Agricultural Value Chains Enterprise Activation Programme.

It said that the empowerment of the 3000 agri-preneurs and concentration on the agricultural value chain was due to the impact suffered after COVID-19 pandemic broke out and spread to Nigeria particularly the state as well as zoonotic diseases.

The Commissioner for Agriculture, Abisola Olusanya, who disclosed the statistics over the weekend, stated that were considered considering that they were the value chain where the State has comparative and competitive advantages.

While stating that they would be empowered on Thursday, 29th July, 2021, Olusanya explained that 70 percent of the beneficiaries are women and youth adding that the Programme has been specifically targeted at three value chains of poultry, fisheries (artisanal) and piggery.

She said: “The 3,000 beneficiaries would include 300 Lagos Agripreneurship Programme (LAP)/Agricultural Youth Empowerment Scheme (Agric-YES) participants, 400 pig farmers, 680 fishermen, 190 fish cage culture beneficiaries, 360 egg marketers, 500 fish processors, 200 rice farmers and 370 crop farmers”.

The Commissioner added that the three value chains were targeted because statistics indicated that they were the value chains that were most affected by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and zoonotic diseases besides the fact that they are the value chain where the State has comparative and competitive advantages.

“This year’s Agricultural Value Chains Enterprise Activation Programme will be coming up on Thursday, 29th July, 2021 where we will be giving out farm implements and other inputs to 3,000 agripreneurs across three value chains of poultry, piggery and fisheries.

“This will include 300 Lagos Agripreneurship Programme (LAP)/Agricultural Youth Empowerment Scheme (Agric-YES) participants, 400 pig farmers, 680 fishermen, 190 fish cage culture beneficiaries, 360 egg marketers, 500 fish processors, 200 rice farmers as well as 370 crop farmers.

“We will be empowering farmers with tractors, ploughs, disc harrows, fishing boats, outboard motor engines, nets, fish-finders, thresher battery cages, point of lays, poultry feeds, de-feathering machines, destoning machines, juveniles, fish feeds, medications, pig growers, smoking kilns, GP tanks, freezers, herbicides and many more,” Olusanya averred.

She noted that the Programme was in line with the Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration’s THEMES developmental agenda with the fourth pillar of making Lagos a 21st Century Economy in focus.

The Commissioner noted that through the Programme, the State would be on a rapid track of attaining food self-sufficiency and reduce its dependence on other States for food.

Olusanya stated that the selection process was free of any interference whatsoever from the political sphere as all beneficiaries were either selected on merit or through nominations by their Agriculture Cooperative Associations.

She, therefore, urged all would-be beneficiaries to fully maximize all that they would be getting so that they can be agriculture ambassadors that the State would be proud of while serving as inspirations for younger ones who would like to venture into the agriculture business.

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