The Lagos State government says it’s Eko City Farmers’ Market will activate a platform where Lagos Producers and Consumers meet to showcase a high quality market engagement.
The Government noted that the event would also upgrade the agricultural supply value chains in the State.
Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal explained that the Eko City Farmers’ Markets, it’s maiden edition, would hold in Lagos on Sunday 23rd, February, 2020 at the Tafawa Balewa and subsequently hold every last Sunday of every month.
“Eko City Farmers’ Markets is a platform where the best of Lagos producers will meet with consumers and end users by using the traditional and innovative development methods to showcase a well organised high quality market to meet the consumers’ ever increasing demand for farm produce.” he said
He said the Market would help the rebuilding of the local food economies by providing a cost-effective, retail sales prospect for local food producers in Lagos State and across Southwestern states.
According to Lawal “The notable objectives of the Eko City Farmers’ Market are to provide Lagosians access to a wide variety of fresh, local, in-season farm products direct from the producers; to make Lagos the most desirable destination for businesses with direct socio-economic impact and beneficial returns; and an avenue to further champion regional integration through composite economic development, leveraging on the existing relationship with the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission to coordinate the participation of other states.
A conspicuous feature of the Eko-City Farmers’ Market is it inclusive model which epitomizes the farmers and the final end users as its focus; a situation that promotes productivity and profitability. In addition, the Eko City Farmers’ Market is also a veritable avenue for Lagosians to buy the poplar LAKE rice on a monthly basis.”
He mentioned that the market would also provide an informal social gathering place in an open-air setting for the community where the market is situated as well as demonstrate environmental stewardship.
The Commissioner equally affirmed that the Eko City Farmers’ Market would help to achieve six of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good health and Well, Decent Work and Economic Growth and Responsible Consumption and Production.
He said: “Please recall that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries both developed and developing in a global partnership.
“They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests. Five of the goals talks about No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well Being, Decent Work and Economic Growth and Responsible Consumption and Production thus it is my conviction that the Eko City Farmers’ Market will go a long way in helping the State Government to achieve all these goals.”
Lawal highlighted some of the benefits of the Market to farmers to include the provision of the infrastructure to support farmers, as well as connecting them to the final end-users thus make shopping an entertaining and educational experience.
He noted that the location of the market makes it easily reachable by public transport as its proximity to the BRT corridor which makes it easy for farmers and primary producers to supply volumes of food appropriate for customers whether they are single shoppers or a family.
The Commissioner also stressed that the Market would enhance public health as it strengthen food safety by providing a healthier environment with basic infrastructure and facilities in the markets just as it would help restructure the farmers’ market sector in order to ensure increase in income of people engaged in farming.
“Each of the market day shall be dedicated to a south western state; offering her the opportunity to display those produce/products she is identified with in terms of production and such edition shall be called Lagos/Oyo day, Lagos/Ogun day etc, as the case may be thereby promoting regional integration. In addition to the above, we shall also be dedicating any market day that falls within any of the festive periods such that we shall be having the Easter, Ileya, Ramadan and Christmas editions,“ he said.
“Again as you are well aware, Agricultural produce come into Lagos State from all southwestern states without protocol and a percentage of post-harvest loss is huge. Leveraging on the activities of the DAWN Commission, farmers across the southwestern states will be mobilized and be made to ensure strict adherence to the protocols in order to foster regional integration and economic prosperity,” the Commissioner noted.
He however appealed to the residents of the State to take advantage of the opportunity of the Eko City Farmers’ Market to improve thier productivity and profitability.