Dr Adetunji Oredipe, a World Bank Task Team Leader for Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Support (APPEALS) Project, says the project has added immense value to farming in Lagos.
He said Lagos has done well in its four level of intervention which include Value chain development plan, Women and youth empowerment and infrastructure support to the cluster group of the project.
Oredipe stated this at the opening ceremony of a 4-day World Bank 8th Implementation Support Mission for APPEALS project on Monday at Johnson Agiri Agricultural Complex Oko-Oba, Agege.
The programme was organised by Federal Government, World Bank and Lagos State government.
He said Lagos has helped farmers to change how they do business, manage the business, adopt technology as well as how it had impacted their livelihood.
“I will look at what Lagos has been doing from our four levels of intervention.
“The first and very importance is about changing the way they do business, how they manage their business and what kind of technology are they adopting; and what is the technology is doing to change their lives.
“On this and others, I can say with all sense of responsibility that Lagos APPEALS project has really contributed so much in this areas.
“We can see that our women who actually attended this programme today have attested to it that they are moving into new areas.
“All in all, Lagos has done very well and Lagos is just too much,” he said.
Ms Abisola Olusanya, state Commissioner for Agriculture, said that the state government would remained fully committed to its agreements under all Donor/World Bank Assisted Projects to boost food production in the state.
Olusanya in her keynote address, said Lagos would continue to excel and ensure that farmers in the state are better off for it.
“We have moral imperative of regular payments of the state’s counterpart contributions to match up the project fund.
“We are not losing focus in ensuring project ownership by our beneficiaries which is linked to sustainability and success rating of project implementation.
“The horizon is bright and I want to assure the mission’s team of the support of the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu to this project and other development project in the state.
“We will continue to excel and ensure that our farmers are better off for it,” she said.
Olusanya noted that the challenge of inflation as experienced in the country has contributed to the rise in the prices of Inputs.
The commissioner said that the price impact was more pronounced under the Women and Youth Empowerment programme.
She noted that this was also of great concern in the sub-component three of the project especially under the Farm Access Road and Civil Work interventions.
“We hope also that all these would be addressed by this crucial implementation support interventions,” she said.
She noted that the implementation of APPEALS project in Lagos through capacity building and technology adoption support to the farmers had positively increased productivity of rice paddy in the state.
She said that rice production increased from 1.5 metric tons to 2.5 metric tons per hectares, while Ofada rice grew from 2.0 to 3.56 metric tons per hectare and FARRO 44 rice.
“Catfish productivity has increased from 100 kg/m3 to 151.3 Kg/m3 and in poultry, Broiler has increased from 1.8 kg/bird per cycle to 2.5 kg/bird.
“The processed output and sales of products for the value chains follow the same trend such that the aquaculture farmers supported by APPEALS project have produced 307.948 MT Fresh Tilapia and are expanding day by day.
“I must say that the inclusion of Women and Youth Empowerment Programme in the design of this project is a novel idea because agriculture offers our people, especially our youths, an opportunity to make a difference.
“I am a strong believer that increased involvement of young Nigerians in agriculture will help tackle various longstanding challenges facing the sector,” the commissioner noted.
Mr Mohammed Jobdi, National Project Coordinator, APPEALS project, Abuja, said that the mission was in Lagos to review the activities of the state under the project in the last six month.
He added that the intervention mission was a routine programme conducted every six months in all APPEALS supporting states.
Jobdi commended Lagos State for performing very well based on the report received.