Lagos Govt empowers rice farmers

Posted by News Express | 10 August 2015 | 4,182 times

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The Lagos State Government on Sunday empowered rice farmers with inputs ranging from land preparation, seeds, fertilizer and water pumps, to boost production during the dry season farming.

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Olajide Bashorun made the presentation at a programme to flag-off this year’s Dry Season Rice farming and distribution of Agricultural inputs and small irrigation scheme equipment at Itoikin Rice field, Itoikin Idena, in Epe Local Government Area of Lagos State.

Bashorun, who was represented by the General Manager, Lagos State Agric Input Supply Authority, Mr. Bolaji Balogun, said that the programme was aimed at boosting rice production.

“The administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode believes that governance should shift to the community, hence the distribution of inputs support for farmers.

“The support ranged from land preparation, seeds, fertilizer and water pumps.

“This will not only boost production but also bring about effective and efficient rice production, thereby increasing the production of rice in the state.”

Bashorun said that among the very prime value chains that the state had, the comparative and competitive advantage gain was rice value chain.

He said that the state government placed premium on this value chain including others like vegetables, poultry and fisheries chains.

The Permanent Secretary pointed out that the event was symbolic, especially against the backdrop of farmers who often depended on rain-fed agriculture.

He said that since there was the need to maximise water resources to aid all-year-round farming, since the state had the Ogun-Oshun River Basin Authority.

“Rice is an area that Lagos State can demonstrate enormous capacity with support from Ogun-Oshun and FADAMA III project's additional financing.

“We can put more line into rice twice or thrice a year and move the annual gig of rice from two tonnes to six tonnes.”

Bashorun said that farmers were contributing towards ensuring food security in the state.

According to him, one of the primary goal of the state government, is to ensure that the state is food secured and can substantially meet its food demand.

“We also know that rice has become a major stable food in the state.

“And in a situation where the country is spending, on the average, a billion naira monthly to import rice and N365 billion yearly, it is high time we became dependent on rice production.

“Also, rice utilisation market is guaranteed as Lagos is one of the states in the federation that has put in place a modern rice mill machine.”

Bashorun, however, advised the farmers to utilise the 332 water pumps distributed by the Ogun-Oshun River Basin Development Authority effectively.

According to him, the least expected from the farmers is to create more jobs, create wealth from the production being generated and above all to develop themselves.

In his remarks, the Managing Director, Ogun-Oshun River Basin Authority, Mr. Akin Soyemi, said that he looked forward to a continued collaboration and cooperation between his organisation and the state.

Soyemi also encouraged beneficiaries to make proper use of the equipment and facilities provided. (NAN)

Photo shows Gov. Ambode.


Source: newsexpress

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