By Esther Onyegbula
As part of measures to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on farmers, Lagos State government has donated 15 trailers of 50kg bags of maize to Poultry Association of Nigeria, PAN, Lagos chapter.
The donation was distributed through the Lagos State Agriculture Development Authority in Oko-Oba, Agege.
Speaking at the presentation, Programme Manager of Lagos State Agriculture Development Authority, Dr. Olalekan Pereira Sheteolu, said the gesture was to cushion the effect of the pandemic on farmers all over the country.
Receiving the donations, state chairman of PAN, Egbegbe Godwin, said the palliatives would help to stabilise the cost of poultry production following increase in prices of grains.
His words: “The palliatives will go a long way in helping farmers because as we speak, we have problem of bandits in the northern areas.
“Farmers can no longer go to their farms because of the fear of being killed. Right now, the cost of grain is going up because many farmers have neglected their farms due to insecurity.
“Similarly, farmers have lamented the losses incurred from bad roads and police extortion.”
Lamenting, the terrible state of roads, the Zonal Chairman of PAN, Epe, Folashade Gab-Ikon, said the low demand for eggs and other poultry products in Epe was due to bad roads, which affected farmers’ cash flow.
According to her, “About 50 percent of farmers in Lagos are in Epe and from Ibeju Lekki to Tee Junction and Igbodu, where we have the majority of poultry farmers and other farmers, the roads are in a horrible state.
“I appeal to the state government to repair the roads. More than 45,000 eggs are produced in Epe daily and by the time we bring it to the market, most of the eggs are already cracked.
“Customers are no more coming to buy eggs at Epe, which has led to a glut.”
The Zonal Chairman of PAN in Badagry, Thomas Adedayo, urged the state government to intervene over alleged incessant police extortions on the Lagos-Badagry expressway.
He said: “There are about 15 checkpoints between Agbara and Badagry, which is less than 20 kilometres.
“At each of the checkpoints, trucks drivers are mandated to pay N1,000, which has led to the refusal of truck drivers to come to Badagry to pick farm produce.”