Agricultural stakeholders in Lagos State have commended the technology put in place at the state-owned Rice Mill at Imota, which it noted would ensure optimum utilization of resources and wastes in environmental friendly manner.
The stakeholders made the call in a communiqué issued at the end of a one-day Agricultural Stakeholders Summit organised by the State Ministry of Agriculture featuring 120 participants made up of 30 Government officials, 21 Bank Officials, 12 representatives from different farms and 57 from Agro-processing and Agricultural related companies.
They considered several issues of importance relating to agriculture and food security in order to develop strategies to be employed in making sure that the State attains sustainable food security and improved nutrition, employment generation and wealth creation through a combination of business and development platforms in partnership with the private sector.
The Summit commended the administration of Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu for his commitment towards making Lagos State a 21st Century economy as manifested in one of the six pillars of the THEMES Agenda, with agriculture and food security playing prominent roles.
The Stakeholders also stressed the need for the Mill to be managed on a Public Private Partnership arrangement when completed as well as financing for backward integration through the Anchor Borrowers Scheme
They also urged the State Government to consolidate the 51,000 hectares of land for rice cultivation in and outside the State for sustainable supply of paddy to the Imota Rice Mill as well as the need to review the Lagos-Kebbi Rice agreement collaboration, just as it stressed the need for Government to further invest in infrastructure such as road network, power, warehouse in and around Rice Mill to ensure optimal utilization.
The Stakeholders also urged the State Government to fast track the process of assessing the Central Bank of Nigeria Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme for the speedy completion of the state-owned Rice Mill at Imota.
The communique said: “The Government should access the state’s window under the CBN Anchor Borrowers Scheme for land development on Rice cultivation. The Summit appreciated the Lagos State government initiative of giving the stakeholders the opportunity to contribute to putting in an Agricultural Road Map for the State and noted the need to put in place a policy to ensure the continuity of the Mill regardless of Government in power as well as an all-inclusive tracking mechanism of action plans as agreed at the Summit.”
The Summit commended the State Government’s plan to train, empower and build capacity of no fewer than 15,000 youths and the unemployed on various Agricultural Value Chains in her five-year action plan and noted the need for more private sector involvement in form of collaboration with the State Government on her various Agricultural Empowerment Schemes.
The Summit also called on the State Government to facilitate the development of a Business Model for Agric-YES Songhai that will expose the economic potentials and investment opportunities to trigger private sector participation.
“The Summit commended the Lagos State Government initiative on Agro tourism especially with the establishment Agric-YES Songhai. The Summit called for immediate resuscitation of Agric-YES Songhai at Avia, Badagry for it to fulfill its intended mandate. The Summit also noted that Government should facilitate the development of a Business Model for Agric-YES Songhai that will expose the economic potentials and investment opportunities to trigger private sector participation,” the Communiqué pointed out.
The one-day Agricultural Stakeholders Summit organised by the State Ministry of Agriculture was held on September 11, 2019.