The Lagos state government has called on stakeholders in the agricultural sector to focus on the comparative advantages in the value chain to develop businesses and strategic partnerships that will stimulate investment in the State.
The State said that it is committed towards ensuring that the State attains food sufficiency as part of efforts towards making Lagos State a 21st-Century economy that works.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal was speaking at the opening of an Agricultural Stakeholders engagement in the State.
Lawal explained that the forum was convened to promote what he termed the “predict and provide syndrome” in policy making in governance, adding that the contributions and inputs of major stakeholders are important towards the attainment of the State government’s agenda in the agricultural sector.
He stressed the Ministry of Agriculture role in actualizing the vision of the government in the Agricultural sector.
These according to him include ensuring food security, improved nutrition for the over 20 million residents; wealth and employment generation with inclusive participation of youth and women; creation of an enabling environment for private sector investment and the institution of policies that support sustainable agri-business practices among others.
“A State with food security and improved nutrition will no doubt achieve sufficiency in the comparative advantage of food staples and sufficient market infrastructure that will also ensure competitiveness. This will provide the catalyst for agricultural finance through increased partnerships with multilateral and donor agencies.
I have no doubts in my mind that this will lead to increased IGR for the State Government on one hand as well as leverage potential of other States and access to the Lagos markets. A well-funded private sector capable of scaling emergent agri-business successes will lead to increased inclusive and sustainable practices,” he said.
The Commissioner urged the stakeholders to come up with strategies that would propel the agricultural value chains to the top, as well as leverage on human capital to create world-class products and an enabling agricultural business environment in the State.
He listed some of the current initiatives of the State Government in the sector to include the establishment of the 32 tons per hour rice mill at Imota, the Lagos-Kebbi States collaboration on Rice Value Chain Development; Agricultural Based Youth Empowerment Scheme (Agric-YES ); Agric-YES Songhai Model; Farm Estates Initiative-Fishery, Poultry, Piggery and Vegetables; Quality Input Supply with Robust Business Model and the collaboration with Development Partners such as World Bank assisted Project (APPEALS), DAWN Commission and CBN among others.
Call for collaboration
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya commended the stakeholders at the session for heeding the call to collaborate with the State Government in developing the roadmap that will guide and reshape the role of agriculture in Lagos State.
Olusanya noted that the stakeholders engagement was a pointer to the readiness of the State Government to revitalise the already existing trends and introduce new technology-based initiatives to achieve food security. The engagement will also lead to improved nutrition, employment generation as well as improved economic prosperity through a combination of business and social development platforms in partnership with the private sector.
“As you might be aware, the administration of His Excellency is committed to making Lagos a 21st-century economy – one of the six pillars of the THEMES agenda. Part of the levers towards achieving this great vision is active stakeholders’ engagement in identifying the needs of Lagosians as well as active and collective participation in solution delivery and sustainability,” She said.
The programme is expected to address some of the challenges and opportunities in the agricultural sector and come up with a 5-year road plan for the agricultural sector in the State.
Participants at the stakeholders’ engagement which Incorporated farmers, bureaucrats, members of the private sector, agri-business entrepreneur, financial institutions looked at issues such as Governance, Innovation and Technology, Agri-business among others.