Luqmon Balogun, Lagos
Arrangements have been concluded by the Lagos State government to host the 2019 Lagos Seafood festival.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal says the aim of the festival is to boost profitablity and productivity of the State fishermen and those that are in the value chains.
Lawal said that the festival which is to hold on Sunday, 22nd of December, 2019 at the Muri Okunola Park, Victoria Island, Lagos, would showcase the aquaculture status and Sea potentials of the State, as well as stimulate the growth of entertainment and tourism in the State.
Speaking at a press conference, the Commissioner explained that the festival with the theme, “Celebrating the Seafood Diversity of Lagos State” would also project the State’s diverse seafood resources and bring to the fore it’s immense investment opportunities.
“Tourism, Culture and Entertainment are fundamental activities in the State with potential of boosting the creative economy of Lagos State and make it a tourist destination for both local and international tourists when fully developed.
We will also through this festival develop networking among stakeholders, share knowledge and technology used in the industry and exchange information on products and services available in the global market, as well as spotlight Lagos in the international tourism calendar as a tourist destination and increase tourism activities in the State,” he said
The Commissioner mentioned that the State’s effort in the past years has been fruitful, as it has develop it’s level of food security and sufficiency.
According to him “Before I left the ministry of agriculture, our level of food security was less than 10%, but by the time I returned, we were now going to about 20%. Infact, as at 2018, our food sufficiency level was 18% and the target in our road map is to attain 25% by 2025.”
He further stressed that “The mandate of the Ministry is to promote our our local producers so that they can earn foreign exchange.
And if you go to some of our farm estate, we have a line of producers and processors as well as fishermen and aquatic farmers that are already exporting thier products and we are also working with NAFDAC to ensure that they qualify for the global best practices.”
The Commissioner also pointed out that the festival would be a celebration of the State’s seafood products and services featuring processed and fresh seafood, entertainment, music, culture, commerce, completions and various cooking lessons.
He noted that with the population of over 22 million inhabitants, the State requires at least 374,000 tonnes of fish per annum compared to a domestic fish production of 155,262 tonnes per annum, as it also anticipate that the gap will widen as State government’s vision of making Lagos State a 21st century economy is fully achieved.
The maiden edition of the Lagos Seafood festival was organised in 2012, 2013 and last in 2014.