By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos State Government has concluded plans to empower at least 3,000 agripreneurs in fisheries, poultry and piggery with various items at the 2021 annual Agricultural Value Chains Enterprise Activation Programme slated for Thursday, July 29, 2021.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, who disclosed this at the weekend, explained that 70 per cent of the beneficiaries are women and youth adding that the programme has been specifically targeted at three value chains of poultry, fisheries (artisanal) and piggery.
The commissioner, added that the three value chains were targeted because statistics indicated that they were the value chains that were most affected by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and zoonotic diseases besides the fact that they are the value chain where the state has comparative and competitive advantages.
According to Olusanya: “This year’s Agricultural Value Chains Enterprise Activation Programme will be giving out farm implements and other inputs to 3,000 agripreneurs across three value chains of poultry, piggery and fisheries.
“This will include 300 Lagos Agripreneurship Programme (LAP)/Agricultural Youth Empowerment Scheme (Agric-YES) participants, 400 pig farmers, 680 fishermen, 190 fish cage culture beneficiaries, 360 egg marketers, 500 fish processors, 200 rice farmers as well as 370 crop farmers.
“We will be empowering farmers with tractors, ploughs, disc harrows, fishing boats, outboard motor engines, nets, fish-finders, thresher battery cages, point of lays, poultry feeds, de-feathering machines, destoning machines, juveniles, fish feeds, medications, pig growers, smoking kilns, GP tanks, freezers, herbicides and many more.”
She noted that the programme was in line with the Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration’s THEMES developmental agenda with the fourth pillar of making Lagos a 21st Century Economy in focus.
The commissioner noted that through the Programme, the state would be on a rapid track of attaining food self-sufficiency and reduce its dependence on other states for food.
Olusanya stated that the selection process was free of any interference whatsoever from the political sphere as all beneficiaries were either selected on merit or through nominations by their Agriculture Cooperative Associations.
She, therefore, urged all would-be beneficiaries to fully maximize all that they would be getting so that they can be agriculture ambassadors that the state would be proud of while serving as inspirations for younger ones who would like to venture into agriculture business.