The Lagos State government has inaugurated two agro-processing centres in the Ikorodu area of the state to boost food security.
Abisola Olusanya, the Lagos State commissioner for agriculture, during the inauguration on Friday, called for partnership and support of farmers, especially the poultry farmers, to end the importation of chickens and other food items.
The projects, a cottage broiler processing centre located in Itamaga and an egg aggregation centre, Erikorodo, Ikorodu, were facilitated by the Lagos Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) project.
Ms Olusanya reiterated Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration’s commitment to food security in the state.
She also stressed the importance of supporting Nigeria’s agricultural food chain and the farming community to meet the demands of Lagos, the most populous state in Nigeria.
The commissioner noted that the Lagos APPEALS project had impacted thousands of farmers in the state in the aquaculture, poultry and rice value chains.
Ms Olusanya said the Lagos State government would work collaboratively with farmers in different sectors, value chains, and clusters to address the needs of Lagosians and provide substantial support to local farmers.
According to her, agriculture is a business, and profitability is essential.
“The focus of the government is on establishing the right food system and market infrastructure to empower farmers to create the right commodities for exchange.
“Thereby addressing price fluctuations and price fixation.
“We import more than we export. We consume from outside more than we produce internally.
“We need to support the agricultural food system of Nigeria and the farmers at large.
“We need to support farmers to produce enough to cater to the needs of Nigerians and Lagosians, which is why Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu believes in the food actors,” she said.
Earlier, Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo, the Lagos State coordinator of the APPEALS project, said the centres were provided for farmers based on needs assessment to improve their productivity.
Mrs Sagoe-Oviebo said the broiler processing centre would address the issue of foreign exchange in the importation of chicken and reduce the cost of production locally.
She urged the farmers to make good use of the facilities provided by the Lagos APPEALS project.
Also, Ibitoye Juliana, chairperson, Erikorodo Poultry Estate Farmers Association, described the inauguration as a historic milestone for farmers in Erikorodo and Ikorodu at large.
She expressed her gratitude to the Lagos State Government and APPEALS project for the improvement of the road network in the Erikorodo Estate, which had enhanced their businesses.
“This aggregation centre is another evidence of your support for us farmers in adding value to our produce and contributing more towards the food security of our dear Lagos State,” she said.
Also speaking, Bartholomew Akhigbe, the chairman of the cluster group, said the processing centre would boost their productivity and assist farmers in their quest to phase out imported chicken.
Mr Akhigbe commended the Lagos APPEALS project for helping the poultry farmers with the processing centre, adding that it would improve and enhance their productivity.
Meanwhile, Olusanya had earlier inaugurated the Eko Farmers APPEALS cooperative multipurpose society and frozen catfish cottage industry.
The APPEALS project also supported Lagos State Catfish Farmers Association of Nigeria with a blast freezer, deep freezer and generator to boost farmers’ productivity and ensure food security in the state.