By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos State Government has concluded plans to launch a 5-Year Agricultural Development Roadmap in line with its THEMES developmental agenda for the state.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, who disclosed this in Lagos on Wednesday, explained that the roadmap would help the state achieve its goal of making Lagos a 21st Century Economy.
According to Olusanya, the roadmap is focused on the development of agricultural value chains where the state has competitive and comparative advantages to ensure that the state attains its food security goals.
“I am delighted to address you today and avail you of the forthcoming launch of the 5-year Agricultural Development Roadmap for the Ministry which is slated for launch by the State Governor, Mr Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu next week Thursday.
“The Agricultural Development Road Map was conceived by the Ministry of Agriculture as a direct outcome of the present administration’s THEMES developmental agenda particularly the 4th pillar of Making Lagos State a 21st Century Economy by ensuring that the Agricultural Sector plays the role of ensuring sustainable food security.
“Its focus is on the development of agricultural value chains where the State has competitive and comparative advantages to ensure that the State’s self-sufficiency in food production moves from 18% to 40 per cent of food needs in the next five years and thus ensure that Lagos State achieves the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as it relates to the sector.
“In adopting the five-year strategy, it is our belief that it will boost food production and drastically reduce post-harvest losses thus encouraging private sector investments that would trigger agricultural transformation in the southwestern States following the examples of countries such as m: Kenya, Malawi, China among others who within a 10 year period made a significant reduction in the poverty level through Agricultural development,” Olusanya stated.
According to her, the road map highlights intervention areas by the Ministry to boost agricultural productivity at the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of seven value chains and services bearing in mind the comparative advantages Lagos State has in these sectors.
The commissioner added that the roadmap also highlights the need for the state government to partner and collaborate with private investors and relevant authorities in improving the environment through proper waste management as well as relocation and upgrading of service centres such as sawmill and open markets in the state.
Olusanya explained that the policy focus at the inception of the State’s Ministry of Agriculture was on direct production of Agricultural produce adding that over the years, the policy thrust changed from direct production to provision of a conducive environment for private sector investment.
She stressed that a 21st-century economy is characterized by four key goals which are job creation, food security, standardization and internal revenue generation for the State.
According to Olusanya, the state government has painstakingly prepared the strategic plan to collaborate and partner with stakeholders in the intervention areas such as policy review, formulation and implementation, database collation and upgrade, as well as repositioning of agencies and departments of her ministry in order to achieve the set goals.