As part of efforts to strengthen food security, the Lagos State Government has promised Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the agricultural sector more support and improve in investments to boost their outputs across the state.
It said that the support was necessary because of the immense contributions of SMEs to the State’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as well as the need to see them create additional value in the agricultural land space.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Abisola Olusanya, gave the assurance on Monday during the flag-off of the 4th edition of the State’s Agriculture Entrepreneurship Development Institute’s Training Programme.
While promising the business operators of government support, she said: “I will like to assure you of the constant support of Mr. Governor to all SMEs in the State, particularly players within agribusiness space and he is aware of your immense contribution to the State’s GDP and would like to see you create more value in agriculture.
“I want to congratulate you for having been selected for this training that would propel you towards your financial empowerment. Specifically, I charge all particularly participants from the Lagos Agricprenuership Programme (LAP) to appreciate the resources Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu’s administration is investing in you. There are so many out there craving for the opportunities that have been bestowed upon you on a platter of gold. Please, I will not want you to take all these for granted. Remember, to whom much is given, much is expected,” the Commissioner averred.
She explained that the EDI is a window for pre-qualification of micro, small and medium enterprises towards access to funds dedicated by the Federal Government for small business growth.
According to her, one of such funds is the Agricultural Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS), which is an initiative of the Bankers’ Committee being managed by the CBN in a bid to support and complement the Federal Government’s efforts at promoting small and medium agri-businesses as a vehicle for sustainable economic development and employment generation.
She added that the State Ministry of Agriculture Entrepreneurship Development Institute is, thus, one of the few accredited EDIs in Nigeria adding that the Institute’s curriculum has been designed to cut across all functional business areas and agricultural value chains, with main focus on guiding participants to navigate through the AGSMEIS loan portal.
“Since inception, four cohorts have been trained, which translates to a total of 139 trained applicants: 61 independent applicants and 78 Lagos Agripreneurship Program (LAP)-sponsored applicants.
“As you may be aware, the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) is a CBN-accredited centre for the development of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial capabilities amongst Nigerians.
“The Institute is expected to provide tools, techniques, and framework for managing all functional areas of a business enterprise including production, marketing, personnel and finance,” Olusanya opined.