The Lagos State Government has confirmed that the World Bank, through its assisted Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement, Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project is set to construct 13.16km Farm Access Roads (FARs) in four cluster areas.
APPEALS is a World Bank-assisted project aimed at enhancing the productivity of small-scale farmers in three identified value chains of poultry, aquaculture and rice through capacity building, provision of infrastructure and empowerment.
The four farm cluster areas are Igbodu in Epe, Araga also in Epe, Erinkorodo in Ikorodu and Afowo in Badagry, the state government disclosed.
Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Abisola Olusanya, disclosed on Thursday during activities to commemorate the second year of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration.
The project when completed, Olusanya noted, would ensure smooth movement and access to the farms adding that it would also reduce losses (egg breakage) encountered by egg farmers as a result of the bad road and improve the productivity of the concerned farmers.
According to her, the evaluation and engineering design for the road had since been finalised and construction would commence immediately.
She said, “The project will be rehabilitating and constructing 13.16Km farm access roads 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 the governor,” Olusanya revealed.
The commissioner also divulged that about 1,621 regular beneficiaries under the Project’s Women and Youth Empowerment Programme (WYEP) have been trained in agribusiness management and other soft skills within the last two years.
“Of the number, 462 have received “No Objections” on their Business Investment Plans and are presently implementing their projects.
“Other beneficiaries will equally be supported before the end of the year, ” she added.
Accordingly, the project had also identified and verified 9,942 farmers and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, while 8,156 of them had received at least one form of training in relevant areas of agribusiness, the Commissioner pointed
She further said that no fewer than 460 beneficiaries were sponsored for training, workshop and conferences out of which 425 of them were farmers.
Highlighting the gains already made in agriculture in the state, Olusanya disclosed that a cluster of fish farmers at Badagry have adopted the production of fish crackers and fish cakes.
She added, “Over 1,000 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 the technology with other agronomic practices learnt through the state collaboration with AfricaRice, IITA, Ibadan,” Ms. Olusanya said.
The aforementioned is to enhance agricultural productivity and improve value addition in the state, she said.