By Olayinka Olawale
Lagos State Government says it will inaugurate a five-Year Agricultural Development Roadmap in line with its THEMES developmental agenda on April 22.
Announcing the programme for the inauguration on Wednesday in Lagos, the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya said that the roadmap would help the state to achieve its goal of making Lagos a 21st-century economy.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that THEMES is an acronym for Traffic Management and Transportation, Health and Environment, Education and Technology.
According to Olusanya, the roadmap is focused on the development of agricultural value-chain, where the state has comparative advantages to ensure the attainment of food security.
“The agricultural development roadmap was conceived by the Ministry of Agriculture as a direct outcome of the present administration’s developmental agenda, particularly the 4th pillar, which is making Lagos State a 21st Century Economy.
“This is 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 comparative advantages over other states to ensure self-sufficiency in food production moves.
Under the scheme, the state is envisioned to move from 18 per cent to 40 per cent in food production in the next five years.
She said that the scheme would also enable the state to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as it relates to the agriculture sector.
Olusanya said that the roadmap highlights intervention areas by the ministry to boost agricultural productivity at the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors relating to the seven value-chain.
She added that the roadmap also highlighted the need for the state government to collaborate with private investors and relevant authorities to improve the environment through proper waste management.
The commissioner noted that the policy focus at the inception of the ministry was on the direct production of agricultural produce.
“Over the years, the policy thrust changed from direct production to provision of a conducive environment for private sector investment,’’ NAN quotes the commissioner as saying.
“In adopting the five-year strategy, it is our belief that it will boost food production and drastically reduce post-harvest losses.
“This will, in turn, encourage private sector investments that will trigger agricultural transformation in the southwestern states.
“This following the examples of countries like Kenya, Malawi and China among others that have, within a 10-year period, made a significant reduction in the poverty level through agricultural development,’’ Olusanya said. (NAN)