By Emeagi Emeka Williams
FARMERS in Lagos state recently gathered at the Ndubuisi Kanu Park in Alausa, Lagos for the Eko City Farmers Fair, organised by the State Ministry of Agriculture.
The annual event which brought diverse farmers from across the state together to showcase their products afforded participants the oppprtunity to get original, straight from the farms items or produce at reasonably cheap rates.
It was also a rendezvous that created the atmosphere for farmers-buyers interraction, apart from ensuring a new vista for improved agribusiness for farmers in the state.
Declaring the event open,the Honourable Commissioner for agriculture, Bisola Olusanya welcomed all the farmers, dignitaries and participants to the august event and highlighted the need for the Lagos govt to always seasonally create a forum for healthy and promotional interraction, and the need to directly showcase the farmers, as some of the significance of the fair.
She proceeded to pronounce that the farmers are so important to the state , just as agriculture remains a vital sector.
The commissioner, without mincing any words, reaffirmed the commitment of His Excellency, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-olu, Executive Governor of Lagos state, to the development of agriculture and the welfare of all stakeholders, buttressing that the state is presently creating actions in these directions, which include a 5-year development plan to fully expand the agro horizon towards maximising the latent potentials.
Speaking, Olusanya said, “Part of the plans include the projection to create over one million jobs in the agro space.
This means that digital avenues will be explored and made attractive for youths participation.
“The state is aware of the limitedness of arable lands due to her aquatic nature, and therefore has plans to boost the various facets of agriculture toward building a robust agrobusiness sphere for the optimization of the benefits”
According to her, the administration of governor Sanwo-olu has a bias for coconut as a chief crop of the state, and therefore looks towards a huge investment for coconut, stressing that the Lagos govt encourages Lagosians to plant coconuts in their premises.
The highpoint of the fair was the presentation of awards and gifts to certain farmers for their immense contributions to the development of agriculture in the state. Selections were made from different areas of the sector, such as poultry, piggry etc
The commissioner who personally recited the profiles of the awardees and beneficiaries, disclosed that selections were on merit, and not by any man-know-man process, noting that she got wind of the amazing agro projects that majority of them are doing and proceeded to embark on verifications, as part of steps that qualified them.
She however described the farmers as very important personalities whose labours in the agriculture sector in supporting and enhancing the schemes of the govt.
Present at the fair are rice farmers association, RIFAN, Livestock rearers, poultry farmers association and a host of others.
To prove the seriousness of govt, a bag of 50kg rice sold for just 20,000 naira at the fair.