…Launches a 5yr food sufficiency roadmap
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu has projected that the total investments in the agriculture sector would run to $10 billion in the next five years.
Sanwo-Olu made the remark at the formal launch of the State 5-year Agricultural and Food Systems Roadmap, on Thursday, at Victoria Island, Lagos.
According to him, most of the investments would be private sector-driven while the government would act as the catalyst and enabler.
He noted that the state could no longer afford to rely exclusively on other states for its food adding that it was time for the state to unlock its immeasurable agricultural potential through the implementation of the 5-year roadmap.
Sanwo-Olu stated that the roadmap would also lead to wealth generation, value creation, food security, the industrialization of the agricultural sector and the entrenchment of inclusive socio-economic development of the State.
“Our strategies for sustainable Agricultural Development shall focus on three pillars. Firstly, we will grow the upstream sector through interventions by leveraging technologies that are capable of lowering the cost of production of value chains such as Fisheries, Poultry, Piggery, Rice, Vegetables and Coconut with support from donor agencies.
“We will also focus on growing the midstream and downstream sectors that is value addition involving processing, handling, storage, cold chain, packaging, utilization and commercialization which are all important agricultural value chains by leveraging on the huge market with support from donor agencies.
“Lastly, we will improve on private sector participation by developing and initiating policies that will encourage more private investments in agriculture. This will include linking the private sector with business-friendly credits.
“The projection is that the total investment in the Agricultural Sector from the government, private sector, donor agencies and development partners will run into over $10Billion in the next five years,” SSanwo-Olu said.
He assured that the state would formulate policies that would encourage private sector investment in agriculture while providing robust market information systems for Agricultural Value Chain actors for adequate planning and the circumvention of risks and uncertainties.
“I am greatly encouraged by the interest already generated in the 5-Year Agricultural Roadmap and I hope it will be sustained and backed with concrete action on the part of our development partners and the international community,” SSanwo-Olu added
Earlier, the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya noted that the Roadmap was a brainchild of the Agricultural Stakeholders’ Summit which was held at the inception of the administration of Mr Sanwo-Olu where several issues of importance relating to agriculture and food security were discussed.
According to Olusanya, private sector partnerships and involvement would go a long way in driving the Roadmap to fruition stating that investment in the transformation of agriculture to agribusiness is one way of achieving the dream of attaining self-sufficiency in food production.
“With thousands of hours spent by statisticians, agriculture experts, investment bankers and practitioners, this strategic document was brought to life to help chart the way forward to food sufficient Lagos.
“I dream of a Lagos that is socially inclusive; where the informal sector becomes transformed into data-driven clusters and then contribute towards the development of this great State. I dream of a Lagos where wholesome food is made available; where healthy people thrive, ” she stated.
Also, Commissioner for Finance, Dr Rabiu Olowo said that agriculture currently generates less than 2 per cent of the state’s Gros Domestic Product, GDP, stressing that the establishment of an Agricultural and Food Systems Roadmap would drive in more investments and create wealth was a highly welcome idea.
He, therefore, urged all stakeholders in the agriculture sector to work together to ensure that the success of the roadmap.
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