Lagos State Government, through its World Bank-assisted Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support, APPEALS, Project, said out of identified and verified 9,942 farmers and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, SMEs, 8,156 of them had received series of training in relevant areas of agribusiness with a view to enhancing their agricultural productivity and improving value addition.
Also, it is set to embark on construction and rehabilitation of 13.16km farm access roads in four cluster areas across the state. The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, disclosed this in Lagos at a press briefing in commemoration of the second year in office of the Sanwo-Olu’s administration in the state, at Alausa, Ikeja. According to the commissioner, 1,621 regular beneficiaries under the project’s Women and Youth Empowerment Programme (WYEP) had been trained in agribusiness management and other soft skills within the last two year out of which 462 of them have received No Objections on their Business Investment Plans (BIPs) and are presently implementing their projects, adding that other beneficiaries would equally be supported before the end of the year. She noted that no fewer than 460 beneficiaries were sponsored for one training, workshop and conference out of which 425 of them are farmers.
He explained that the access roads when completed would aid better movement to and from the farms; reduce losses particularly by egg farmers occasioned by broken eggs as a result of bad road and subsequently improve the productivity of the concerned farmers. The four clusters areas, according to Olusanya, include: Igbodu in Epe, Araga also in Epe, Erinkorodo in Ikorodu and Afowo in Badagry adding that the evaluation and engineering design for the four roads have since been finalised and construction would commence immediately. She said, “The Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Support (APPEALS) Project is a World Bank assisted project aimed at enhancing the productivity of small scale farmers in the three identified value chains of poultry, aquaculture and rice through capacity building, provision of infrastructure and empowerment. “The project will be rehabilitating and constructing 13.16Km Farm Access Roads (FARs) already identified in four different clusters across the State. The design of the Bill of Engineering Measurement and Evaluation for the four FARs is at final report stage. The advertisement for potential contractors and subsequent implementation will be carried out once the work plan is approved by Mr. Governor.” The commissioner added that the most important among the trainings was the project collaboration with Africa Leaders Forum on the second level financing, which was tagged: “Agripreneurship Export and Financial Literacy training.” “A cluster of fish farmers at Badagry has adopted the production of fish crackers and fish cakes. Over 1000 packs (696 Kg) of fish fillet and crackers had been produced and sold during the period under review. “Use of nets for the control of birds in rice farming had since been adopted by our farmers. Over 100 rice farmers in Ganyingbo, Badagry are presently trying this technology with other agronomic practices learnt through the State collaboration with AfricaRice, IITA, Ibadan,” Olusanya stated.