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Friday, June 21, 2024

Lagosians consume over 3M cattle annually- Lagos Govt.

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The Lagos State Government has disclosed that residents of the state consume 10,000 heads of cattle daily across the state, totalling over 3 million annually.

It added that plans have been concluded to strengthen preservation and distribution of the slaughtered meats with 50 vans set for commissioning as well as launch of the Lagos last mile meat shops.

The Commissioner for Agriculture, Abisola Olusanya, who disclosed this on Tuesday during the ministerial press briefing held in Ikeja, assured residents that plans were being intensified to boost food security in the state.

On the cattle slaughtered in Lagos, Olusanya stressed that the number increased due to high demands for the red meats by social events organisers, food canteens, eateries and for personal consumption.

She noted that the demand for cattle in the state increased daily as the population increases, adding that the lapses noticed by the government in the value chain is the ineffective distribution system which resulted in use of different means of transportation to lift red meats from abattoir to markets across Lagos.

To fill the vacuum, the Commissioner noted that 50 meat vans would be launched at Oko-Oba abattoir, to lift the red meats to different markets where consumers could have access to buy.

She said that the Lagos State Government remains committed to making the state an organised food system and value chain destination, stressing that the government is working around its five-year Agricultural and Food Systems Roadmap (2021-2025) as well as on the Food Security Systems Policy Document.

Olusanya stated that the unveiling of Lagos Last Mile Meat shops and utilisation of new Vans would ensure the availability of meat for residents, create market access and curb the illegality of the transportation of meat carcasses across the state.

The Commissioner added that the state in the last year had launched various social intervention programmes such as trader monies for Market men and women, and embarked on Agric business support initiatives, while building farms across the state.

“The government had over the period under review secured the Lagos food system, leaving no one behind through the Lagos Agric Scholars’ programme while supporting with extension services. We have also supported more than 23986 thereby exceeding our target which included rice, fish and poultry farmers.

“The state government has through its Coconut Value Chain Development, trained youths and with the Eko Agro mechanisation project the state had been able to procure tractors and mechanised farm implements for the beneficiaries”, she added.

Olusanya said that the State’s Agriculture Sector has contributed about N7 trillion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the last five years, stressing that the Lagos food market size which is about N9 billion daily and N5 trillion in annual transaction values is gaining momentum as government continue to scale up food production activities in the state.

The Special Adviser to the Governor, on Agriculture, Dr. Oluwarotimi Fashola stressed that the government through its Rice Mill initiative is partnering with different states in Nigeria to sustain the availability of paddy production and enhance productivity.

Fashola, who lamented the unavailability of adequate land for rice production in the state, said that the present administration is working around the clock to ensure the availability of the staple food all year round.

In his words. “Because of the size of rice needed, Mr. Governor signed an MOU with Niger State being the largest producer of paddy in the country. The Imota Rice mill needs 200,000 tonnes of paddy. The partnership with other states is to ensure the sustainability of production. We extend our hand of fellowship to all the South West states”.

“If we have 20 percent of paddy from Lagos, other South West states will give 40 percent. There is no single state that can give us all. Once there is paddy we know the production of rice will be sustained. We can not be doing a stop-and-start approach, it will be injurious and that is why our efforts are to ensure paddy production is sustained”, he stated.

The Special Adviser averred that 100,000 tonnes of paddy will give smooth operation for the Rice Mill but the State at the moment is operating below the target, assuring that the recent collaborations with critical stakeholders will soon yield positive results.

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