Lagos CARES distributes farm assets to 1,531 farmers

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By Olayinka Olawale

The Lagos COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus Programme (Lagos-CARES) has distributed various farm assets to 1,531 processing and producing farmers in the state.

Speaking during the distribution at the Lagos Farm Service Centre, Agege, on Tuesday, Mr Jonathan Obayemi, the state Project Coordinator, FADAMA, said the assets would be distributed to individuals and farmers’ group.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme is a tripartite agreement between the Federal Government, 36 State Governments and World Bank.

According to him, the exercise is part of the state government’s effort to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and fuel subsidy removal.

‘This empowerment programme is aimed at supporting farmers after the COVID-19 pandemic as well as mitigate the impact of fuel subsidy removal.

“Today, what we are doing is just the continuation of our disbursement to beneficiaries under the Lagos CARES programme through Lagos State FADAMA coordination office, under the Ministry of Agriculture.

”Today, we are disbursing to over 1,531 beneficiaries and this will bring the total number of beneficiaries so far to 10,000 farmers with productive and processing assets under the Lagos-CARES programme,” he said.

Obayemi said that under the Lagos CARES programme, the 13,943 beneficiaries drawn from 20 Local Government and 37 Local Council Development Areas, would be supported with inputs and agriculture infrastructure improvement programme.

The project coordinator, however, noted that over 10,000 farmers had so far benefited from the programme directly and more farmers would be shortlisted as well as supported in the next phase.

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”We have a target of about 13, 943 individuals to be directly supported. So far, we have been able to reach about 10,000 beneficiaries directly,” he said.

Obayemi said that the Lagos CARES programme which was continuous, had indirectly impacted over 100,000 family.

He said that the assets distributed include; 50 Battery cages, 27 water tanks, 83 fish tanks, 153 water pump, 10 submersible, two surface, six water hose, 12 motorised sprayer, 68 gas burner, 68 gas cylinders, five smoking kilns, nine deep Freezer and nine generators.

He urged the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the farm assets, adding that the impact would reflect in their total outputs.

The programme coordinator also called on the group leaders to share the assets received on behalf of their members evenly.

“I urge you to make good use of the assets and support received.

“We know this is a very challenging time for our country but I can assure Lagos residents that with this intervention and several other initiative coming under the administration of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, people will begin to feel positive impact and reduction in the price of food items.

“I thank all our stakeholders for being supportive and I thank our farmers community associations for their cooperation and resilient because I believe farmers should be commended for their effort for putting food on the table.

“We urge you to use the assets judiciously to boost food production and improve your livelihood after COVID-19 and mitigate the impact of fuel subsidy removal,” he said.

However, some beneficiaries commended Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his continuous support and empowerment to farmers in the state.

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Mr Tai Benedict, the Chairman, Bosere Farm Group, Epe, commended the government for the initiative and urged it to do more to help farmers.

Benedict confirmed that the group received 10 motorised sprayers for pest control on their farms .

“We are tax payers, so government should do more to support us so that we can boost food production.

“The assets received will help our members to fight pest infestation during planting season.”

Also, Mrs Afusat Suleimon, the Chairman, Alubarikaloju Fish Processing Group, Eputu, Ibeju- Lekki, commended the government for the support, describing it as lifesaving.

Sulaimon said the group of 10 received one Deep Freezer, generator, smoking kilns and industrial scale.

She said that the assets received would boost production and better the lives of members during challenges.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, we lost a lot, our businesses collapsed and many of our members have not recovered,” she said.

She added that the farm assets would help group members to improve businesses and provide opportunity to export products. (NAN)

Edited by Chinyere Bassey/Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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