On Thursday 22nd April 2021, Lagos State Launched the Agricultural and Food Systems Roadmap, which will run from 2021-2025. State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, revealed that the Roadmap is a brain – child of the Agricultural Stakeholders’ Summit, which was held at the inception of the administration of the present governor of the state, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
“With thousands of hours spent by statisticians, agriculture experts, investment bankers and practitioners, this strategic document was brought to life to help chart the way forward to a food sufficient Lagos”, Olusanya stated.
Governor of the State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was in attendance and revealed that the projected total investment in the sector would run into $10 billion in the next five years with the launch of this project. Sanwo-Olu revealed that most of the investments would come from the private sector, with the government acting as a catalyst and enabler.
The roadmap focuses on three pillars, which are the growth of the upstream sector, midstream and downstream sectors, and the improvement of private sector participation.
“Our strategies for sustainable agricultural development shall focus on three pillars. Firstly, we will grow the upstream sector through interventions by leveraging technologies that are capable of lowering the cost of production of value chains such as fisheries, poultry, piggery, rice vegetable and coconut with support from donor agencies”, said Sanwo-Olu.
He added, “we will also focus on growing the midstream and downstream sectors that is value addition involving processing, handling, storage, cold chain, packaging, utilization, and commercialization…by leveraging on the huge market with support from donor agencies”.
“Lastly, we will improve on private sector participation by developing and initiating policies that will encourage more private investments in agriculture. This will include linking the private sector with business-friendly credits”.
In his address, the governor revealed that the state could no longer rely exclusively on other states for its food, so this 5-year roadmap is the key to unlocking the state’s agricultural potential. The project would lead to wealth generation, value creation, and food security, he added. In addition, it would industrialize the sector and entrench inclusive socio-economic development within the state.
The governor assured that the state would put forth policies that would encourage investments in the sector, while providing robust market information for value chain actors which would assist in planning and help circumvent risks and uncertainties. In this regard, the state has started to revamp its Agricultural Land Holding Authority (ALHA) to support these investments.
Sanwo-Olu went on to mention key investments that the state has began, including the Lagos State Aquatic Centre of Excellence (LACE) that would boost fish production from 20% to 80%; the Imota Rice Mill; and the Lagos Food Production Centre Avia, Igborosu-Badagry amongst others.
Sanwo-Olu has urged potential and established stakeholders to partner with the state in transforming the agricultural sector for food security, poverty alleviation, economic diversification, rapid industrialization, and socio-economic growth.