From Idowu Abdullahi, Lagos
The Lagos State Government, weekend, disclosed that it had acquired 84 hectares of land in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, to ensure food sufficiency for residents of the state.
The 84 hectares, the government said, would be utilised for cultivation of various food crops to meet the needs of the residents.
In a statement on Sunday, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, said the move was to ensure food security for the ever-increasing population of the state, given the fact that the Lagos is a coastal state with limited land for agricultural purposes.
Accroding to him, the Osogbo farms would also serve as the aggregation centre for the state government’s collaborative efforts with other South-West states in exporting to other states outside the zone and by extension other countries.
Lawan said: “Lagos State, with a population in excess of 21 million and daily influx of people from diverse places, has serious agricultural land constraints.
“Being a coastal state, the availability of land for agriculture has been drastically reduced due to urbanisation,” Lawal said.
The commissioner said that the state government intended to build another abattoir along the Epe-Lekki corridor that would cater for the meat needs of people in that axis.
He said that the abattoir had become necessary due to an expected increase in activities as a result of the impending Lekki Free Trade Zone.
According to him, there are also plans to put in place an agric business application that will not only monetise everything being done in the ministry but also support the value chain platform.
He said that the ‘App’ would aggregate everything and everybody along the value chain in the state.
Lawal described the ‘App’ as a viable strategy that would transform the agric sector by smoothening the entry for both old and new young farmers to an environment where start ups could be nurtured and allowed to flourish.
“Some of the objectives of the ‘App’ will include grooming start up entrepreneurs, small and medium enterprises and agro-tech innovators, among others.
“It will also promote the establishment of agribusiness ventures through a vast pool of ‘commercialisable’ agro technology from the research and development institutes,” he said.