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The Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led Lagos State Government has acquired 84 hectares of farmland in Osogbo, Osun State with the aim of cultivating various types of crops to produce food towards ensuring food sufficiency.
The Osogbo Farms, according to Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Gbolahan Lawal, would serve as an aggregation centre for the state government’s collaborative efforts with other members of the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) states and exporting produce to other states of the federation and foreign countries.
He said this initiative was to forestall shortage of food and ensure food security for the ever-increasing population of the state which has limited land for agricultural purposes due to its coastal nature.
“Lagos State with a population in excess of 21 million people and a daily influx of people from diverse places has serious agricultural land constraints and being a coastal state, the availability of land for agriculture has been drastically reduced due to urbanisation,” Lawal said.
He hinted of plans to put in place an Agric Business Application that would not only put a monetary value to everything done in the ministry, but would also support the agriculture platform by aggregating everything and everybody along the value chain in the state.
The Agribusiness App, the commissioner added, was a viable strategy that would transform the agriculture sector by smoothening the way for both old and new as well as young farmer-entrants in an environment where start-ups can be nurtured and allowed to flourish.
“One of the objectives of the App is to groom start-up entrepreneurs, small and medium enterprises and agrotech innovators, among others. Besides, it’s aimed at promoting the establishment of agribusiness ventures through a vast pool of commercially viable agro-technology initiatives from the research and development institutes,”Lawal said.
The commissioner added that due to the envisaged increase in activities along the Epe-Lekki corridor on completion of the Free Trade Zone, the State Government intends to build another abattoir within the axis to cater for the meat needs of residents along Lekki expressway.