The Lagos State government has revealed plans to introduce the Eko City Farmers’ Market where fresh farm produce can be bought at lower prices.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, has said that the market will be launched on February 23 at the Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos, adding that subsequent market activities would follow every last Sunday of each month at the same location.
According to him, the initiative follows from a recommendation made at a September 2019 Stakeholders’ Summit organized by the agriculture ministry.
Lawal said the market, through the use of traditional and new promotional advertising methods, will serve as a well-organised platform for the best of Lagos produces to meet increasing consumer demands.
He said, “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.
“It will also make Lagos the most desirable destination for businesses with direct socio-economic impact and beneficial returns as well as create an avenue to further champion regional integration through composite economic development.
“It will leverage on the existing relationship with the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission to coordinate the participation of other states.”
The commissioner further explained that the initiative is part of the state’s contribution towards achieving six of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations – Poverty eradication, hunger eradication, good health, decent jobs, economic growth and Responsible Consumption and Production.
Lawal, while explaining that the market would also serve for regional integration, said each market day will be dedicated to a South-West state, for instance, Lagos/Oyo Day.
He also said each festive season that falls within any market day will be duly celebrated.
President of the Lagos State Catfish and Allied Farmers’ Association, Mrs Nurat Atoba, expressed delight in the initiative and enjoined farmers and consumers to maximize the opportunity.
“The challenge for our members before now has always been market and pricing, but with this initiative, our problem will be addressed. I urge Lagos residents to come out en masse to patronize our farmers and buy produce fresh and at affordable prices,” she said.