By MONSUR OLOWOOPEJO
THE Lagos State Government has disclosed that 40 per cent of farm produce, especially vegetable harvested within the state yearly are lost through post-harvest activities.
Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Mr. Gbolahan Lawal, who disclosed this at the inauguration of Eko Farmers Mart, Ajah and Surulere, said “This has contributed to the huge gap between the farm gate price and market price of agricultural produce without guarantee for quality products in the state.”
According to him, a lot of people are involved in bringing the produce from the local producers in the hinterland to markets in the urban centres with each adding their profit margin to the products, adding that transportation difficulty has also contributed negatively to the landing price of agricultural products.
He said: “Many farmers leave their farm site a day before the market day at about 10:00 pm and this affect the farmers psychologically and their production capacity.”
“In order to ensure that this is mitigated and to ensure that food security and safety needs are achieved, the state government decided to introduce the ‘Eko Farmers Mart.
“These facilities would create the available market for farmers in the state due to the challenge they face in bringing their goods o the market. With this, the standard of living of the farmers in the state will be improved effectively.
”And this is to ensure that food security is achieved, affordability and availability of agricultural produce, especially at their door step.”
Lawal appealed to all stakeholders in the agriculture sector to concentrate more on the food supply chain because the chain started from input supply, actual production, delivery and marketing, storage and processing as well as consumption.
He added “Any weakness along the supply chain will affect the whole process. This is why the state government through the ministry of Agriculture is providing the necessary support to all segment of the agricultural value chain.”
Speaking earlier, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr. Olajide Basorun, said the state government in partnership with the private sector would be delivering additional three marts in different Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas, LCDA, in the state.
Basorun added that the state government would ensure that the Mart is located in the entire 57 councils in the state.