Lagos Empowers Over 3,000 Farmers, Youth, Women On World Food Day
…As Fashola promises more
Oct 16, 2014 - Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN on Thursday led Lagosians to commemorate the 2014 World Food Day, where the State also empowered 3,149 small scale farmers, youths, women and the vulnerable through its Agricultural Value Chain Empowerment programme.
The beneficiaries include 73 egg producers, 754 people who got 50 crates of eggs for marketing, 250 poultry farmers who got 40 bags layers mash, 30 people provided with 1,000 kg of maize, 60 kg cat fish for 296 fish marketers, 152 others who got outboard engines and 152 who received bundle nets, 295 people went home with 10 bags of pig feed each, 40 who had 10 bags of sheep and goat feed, 305 who received Personal Protective Equipment and 48 butchers who got meat processing accessories .
Other items distributed are agrochemicals, vegetable seed, 50kg bag of fertilizer to 242 farmers involved in vegetable production, another set for agrochemicals for farmers in horticulture, cassava cuttings, knapsack sprayer, agro chemicals and two bags of fertilizer each to 118 farmers involved in cassava production, while 85 kg of rice seed, agro chemicals and fertilizers were distributed to 43 rice production farmers and another 56 farmers involved in coconut processing got one coconut de-shelling machine each, one de-husking machine and one grinding machine.
The Governor, who spoke at the Johnson Agiri Agricultural Complex, Oko Oba Agege added that farmers and parents should never disconnect their children from their businesses or vocations because they could help with the sustenance.
He stressed that in Europe, the children of the farmers still helped their parents at the farms and that in the Nigerian context, no Nigerian father or mother should be ashamed to bring their children to work on the farms.
He noted that the irony of human civilization is that every day, somewhere at sometime, somebody is going hungry and begging for food just as someone is looking for a shelter to lay his head.
He added that many fail to realize that all of the best fabrics that people wear come from the earth which is cotton, adding that all of the cornflakes and different kinds of flakes that people are eating is a byproduct of corn and that the time has come to connect all of such processes together.
Reiterating his advice while presenting the inputs, agricultural produce and processing machines to some of the beneficiaries that they should use the items well and pay tax when they start making profit, the Governor noted that the State Government was able to provide the empowerment items from the tax paid by the residents.
He noted that with the reported dwindling returns from the federation account, it would have been impossible to carry out the empowerment without the taxes being paid by the residents of the State.
Speaking on the Deed of Sublease presented to the allotees of Agric farmland, Fashola said several farmers with success stories could not make headways in terms of financial facilities from banks because most of the properties they have do not have titles.
He said that has however become a thing of the past for about 217 allotees of agriculture lands within government settlements who are getting sub lease titles which could serve as collaterals for them.
The Lagos Governor also said with the handing over of the title documents to the over 200 lucky allotees, the State Government has embarked on a great journey which signals the beginning of the end of poverty among the people.
He stressed that in line with the policy focus of the present administration on devoting attention to the areas of Power, Agriculture, Transportation and Housing, the State has just commissioned a Power Academy to train young trainees who will graduate next March.
He added that what is noteworthy about the students at the Power Academy is that they will be certificated by a leading brand name, Siemens which also provides opportunity to the graduates to be employable anywhere in the world.
Fashola said Wednesday was also commemorated as a Horn Free Day in Lagos which is all about everyone agreeing to embark on a journey to reduce stress and anger among the residents and increase the lifespan.
Governor Fashola added that also on Wednesday, the State Government provided another new 200 homes to qualified citizens at the 8th Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme (LAGOS Homs) Draw.
He maintained that the empowerment programme of the State Government is not about sloganeering but about empowering people and giving them skills as the beneficiaries are real, saying by Friday morning, 3,149 people will leave their respective homes and tell their dependants with confidence that they are going to work and earn a living.
He said the state is also promoting linkage for some of the items it has distributed, saying as the fish farmers are increasing fish output, some people are working out how to get kiln to process the fish.
He emphasized that from the farms in Epe, makers of noodles are already connecting with cassava makers just as it has linked pepper soup sellers with catfish sellers in the state.
The Governor reiterated that the empowerment programme is an initiative of the ruling party in the State, All Progressives Congress (APC), charging residents that if they want more they should sustain the provision with their choices at the next polls.
He said the APC does not measure wealth by the number of billionaires or private jet owners it has produced but by the number of vulnerable people who are earning their decent living.
Speaking earlier, the State Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Prince Gbolahan Lawal said the goal of the 2014 event is to share prosperity and this informed the decision on Agricultural Value Chains Empowerment.
He informed that the Ministry has also pursued the Agricultural sector policy through the facilitation of programmes and projects like Agric Youth Empowerment Scheme (Agric YES), Rice for Jobs, Agric YES Shongai Model and several programmes that have remarkable impact on food security, job creation, poverty reduction as well as well being of the farmers and fisher folks in the state.
The event also featured the presentation of a giant trophy to the winner of the Agric Quiz competition, Ikeja Senior Grammar School, Ikeja represented by Masters Adewunmi Olalekan and Oluyode Olalekan by the Governor.
Prominent among those who graced the event were former civilian Governor, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, members of the State Executive Council including the Secretary to the State Government, Dr (Mrs) Idiat Adebule, Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs Sola Oworu, Information and Strategy, Mr Lateef Ibirogba, Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Ben Akabueze, traditional rulers like the Alara of Ilara, Oba Akeem Adesanya, Olu of Agege, Oba Kamila Isiba and the Ojora of Ijoraland, Oba Abdulfatai Aremu Aromire, the beneficiaries and several other guests.