Lagos Empowers Farmers To Boost Rice Production
In order to boost the production of rice, the Lagos State Government through the Ministry of Agriculture has empowered rice farmers in the state with input support like land preparation, seeds, fertiliser and water pumps to boost production during this dry season farming.
Speaking at this year’s flag-off of dry season rice farming and distribution of agriculural inputs and small irrigation scheme equipment at Itoikin Rice Field, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr. Olajide Bashorun, disclosed that the programme is to benefit rice farmers in order to boost production.
According to him, “The present administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode believes that governance should shift to the community hence the distribution of inputs support ranging from land preparation, seeds, fertiliser and water pumps will not only boost production but also make the rice effective and efficient in rice production thereby increasing the production of rice in the state.”
Bashorun, who was represented at the event by General Manager, Lagos State Agric Input Supply Authority, Mr. Bolaji Balogun, also said among the very prime value chains, Lagos State has comparative and competitive advantage gain in rice value chain.
Speaking further he said “the event is symbolic for the fact that farmers have often depended on rainfed agriculture and since we have the Ogun/Oshun River Basin Authority, we need to maximise what we do with our water resource so that we can farm all the year round.
“Rice is an area in which Lagos State can demonstrate enormous capacity with support from Ogun-Oshun and FADAMA III project additional financing; we can put more line into rice twice or thrice a year and move the annual gig of rice from two tonnes to six tonnes,’’ he said.
He added that farmers are contributing towards ensuring food security in the state and one of the primary goals of the state government is to ensure that the state is food secured and can substantially meet its food demand.
“We also know that rice has become a major staple food in the state and in a situation where the country is spending on the average a billion naira monthly to import rice and 365 billion yearly, its high time we become dependent on rice production as rice utilisation market is guaranttee.”
He also noted that Lagos is one of the states in the federation that has put in place a modern rice mill machine.
He however admonished the farmers to utilise the 332 water pumps distributed by the Ogun – Oshun River Basin Development Authority effectively, adding that the least expected from them all is to create more jobs, create wealth from the production being generated and above all to develop themselves.
The Managing Director of Ogun – Oshun River Basin Development Authority, Engr. Akin Soyemi, while speaking said he is looking forward to a continued collaboration and cooperation between his organisation and the State.
He thereby encouraged beneficiaries to make proper use of the equipment and facilities.