…as Fashola launches N1bn FADAMA III project
By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Monsur Olowoopejo
LAGOS â€” The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has provided a credit fund worth N50 bllion to the Lagos State government as part of measures to enhance the agricultural sector in the state.
Governor Babatunde Fashola who disclosed this yesterday at the inaugural Eko Farmersâ€™ Appreciation Day with the theme â€œRewarding Eko Farmers: The Catalyst for Food Securityâ€ at Ikeja, also launched the N1 billion FADAMA III and the Commercial Agricultural Development Project, CADP, being coordinated by Dr. Olayiwola Onasanya.
The governor who stated that the fund would go a long way in boosting agricultural produce, also urged other states in the federation to lease their lands to the state for agricultural cultivation.
Fashola said he had approved the participation of the state in the Rural Finance Institution Building Programme, RUFIN, which according to him would improve easy access of small holder farmers to the CBN fund.
His words: â€œI have confidence that the beneficiaries of the various interventions will be faithful to the goal of attaining food security in the state. I assure you that the government will continue to provide the enabling environment for your investment to grow rewardingly.â€
On the CADP, Fashola said the state would be one of the participating six states in the project intended to assist small and medium scale farmers to remove production constraints in the area of energy, roads, technology acquisition and market development with a commitment of N1 billion annually for the next five year.
On recent food scarcity
On the recent food scarcity the state witnessed recently, Fashola while presenting awards to outstanding farmers urged them to double their efforts in increasing productivity towards attaining self sufficiency, especially in areas of fisheries, poultry and vegetables.
He also added that in an effort to reduce the drudgery of farming, the state would distribute 51 tractors to cooperatives at 60 per cent cost for operation on commercial basis expected to complement the efforts of the State Tractor Hiring Unit at servicing the small holder farmers in the state.