Launches Eko City Farmers’ Market
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has stressed that to achieve the desire of making Lagos a 21st Century Economy, his administration will uphold Smart-Agriculture driven by innovative technologies in tandem with international standards.
Sanwo-Olu, also said that agriculture is capable of increasing the state Gross Domestic Product, GDP, support establishment and growth of small scale industries in all the value chains as well as provides employment for the youths and women.
Speaking at the maiden edition of the “Eko City Farmers’ Market, in Tafawa Balewa Square, TBS, Lagos, added that the main goal is to ensure food security and safety for the over 22 million people residents in the state.
Represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadiri Hamzat, he added, “The State Government will not relent in its efforts to restructure the agricultural sector as there is a need to uphold Smart-Agriculture driven by innovative technologies by bench-marking on international standards for produce markets befitting of Lagos State.
“We are committed to optimally harnessing our comparative advantage in agriculture to grow our GDP, support the establishment and growth of small scale industries in the value chain as well as provide employment for our teeming youths and women.”
He described the Eko-City Farmers’ Market as an exceptional initiative aimed at providing a conducive, safe and well-structured environment where farmers can trade their farm produce directly to consumers at farm gate prices.
According to him, “The Eko-City Farmers’ Market initiative was designed as a monthly market to be hosted on the last Sunday of every month. Through this initiative, we will ensure that Agriculture Produce Markets are managed by in conformity with best global standards and practices and also provide a platform for farmers both within the state and from the entire South-Western region to display their products and to also curtail huge post-harvest losses being experienced presently.”
The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince, Gbolahan Lawal, in his address, stated that the “Eko-City Farmers’ Market is an inclusive model which epitomizes the ideal transactional nature of the farming industry, which is expected to promote productivity, profitability and in turn prosperity for farmers.”
According to him, based on the population of Nigerians in the diaspora, “We plan to develop the Eko City Farmers’ Market into an international Food market and innovation exchange platform.
We have put in place machinery to ensure the development of a delegate database for the farmers market to develop market linkages for each value chain, and ultimately develop what would be known as the Eko Farmers Community database.
“The Eko City Farmers’ Market is not just a typical farmers market or event. Ours is a 21st-century experience.
We have committed modern thinking with specialized local experiences. We have also developed a first of its kind online market linkage opportunities for our farmers,” he stated.