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Lagos, Kwara, Niger States Establish Partnership For Improved Food Security



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The Lagos State Government has begun a partnership programme with Kwara and Niger states towards bridging food supply-demand gaps under the Produce-4-Lagos initiative and reducing waste.[tps_header][/tps_header]

Lagos is considered a market city and consumer-centric and requires large quantities of food to cater for its over 30 million.

Lagos, Kwara, Niger States Establish Partnership For Improved Food Security

Ms Abisola Olusanya, the Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, speaking at a meeting held at the Secretariat, Alausa, with her counterparts, from Kwara and Niger States, Mrs Oloruntoyosi Thomas and Mr Aminu Suleman Takuma, said this is the period to feed the nation with agriculture.

Olusanya said the Ministry of Agriculture is supporting the farmers in the state to boost food production, particularly in livestock, fisheries and horticulture.

She also said Kwara and Niger shared a border and therefore have the capacities to produce.

She said, “President Tinubu made an executive order last year July around food security, and he has lined up programmes to achieve this, particularly towards stemming the food inflation and ensuring youths are actively engaged in Agriculture and, more importantly, on how to scale food production.

“Kwara state shares a border with Nigeria Niger; they have the land, people and capabilities to produce. This is an agenda that we have for a lot of states in Nigeria, not just Kwara and Niger states.”

The Commissioner revealed that the governors of the three states have been engaging over the partnership and its sustainability, adding that the meeting is to fine-tune and set the process in motion.

She said, “We understand our positioning as a state, which is the market for West Africa, so we are making efforts to ensure our people continue to get cheaper, wholesome and quality food and ensure the general prosperity and health of our citizenry.”

She further revealed that the Agricultural Road Map and other partnerships by the states have yielded fruits in the last four years with the establishment of the Lagos Central Food Security Systems and Logistics Hub, Middle-level Agroproduce hub and Last Mile Markets established by the state government towards ensuring food security and sustainability

Olusanya said there are markets for food items that come into Lagos.

“There is nothing you bring to Lagos that will not sell, from tubers to grains and perishables, because there is a target audience for it. It is not so much about reinventing the wheel; there are markets in Lagos for food items that come into the state.

“This will mark the beginning of collaboration with other states, and subsequently, we should be able to see better food pricing, reduced post-harvest loss and wealth creation for our farmers and value chain actors through improved revenues. We have to move in the direction that we are not just stopping in the area of production alone; value addition is key for us as a nation, to preserve, to keep our food longer and reduce wastage,” she said.

Mrs Oloruntoyosi Thomas, the Kwara State Commissioner of Agriculture and Rural Development, commended the initiative and described it as a significant milestone to boost agriculture in Nigeria, close the unemployment gaps and increase food processing and production.

Thomas said, “It is a way of bridging gaps and building communities and empowering our farmers, and it is about ensuring that there is food security. We are happy to key into this to be able to feed kwarans first before we can feed Lagos and Nigeria as a whole.”

Mr Aminu Takuma, the commissioner Ministry of Industry, Trades, Investment and Private Sector Development of Niger state, in his contribution, said that the move will go a long way to transform the agricultural strategy of Niger state further to blossom and yield the needed fruits for economic growth.

Takuma said, “What we have done today is what will make the Agricultural Transformation strategy of Niger state work. Because the Governor has kick-started it with the preparation of 600 hectares of land for cultivation. This will be allocated to youth for cultivation, and the government will provide inputs input, including the seeds and fertiliser.”

He added that since it has been established that Niger will be the producing state while Lagos state will be the consuming state, what they needed to know now is what Lagos wants them to produce, adding that Niger has a fertile ground.

Mr Cezar Rizzi, representing the Campo, a technical partner from Brazil who spoke earlier, stated that the partnership would benefit both countries as it has successfully engaged some other African countries, including Zambia, Angola, Mozambique, Uganda and Kenya, stressing that South America is a tropical area with similar climate as Nigeria and could help to improve the Agriculture productivity in such as Cattle and poultry production among others




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