...Agric Commissioner charges poultry farmers on production of wholesale processed chicken products

The Lagos State Government has officially inaugurated Eko Farmers APPEALS Cooperative Multipurpose Society and three Agro-Processing centres facilitated by the Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project to boost farmers’ productivity and ensure food security in the State.

The Eko Farmers APPEALS Cooperative Multipurpose Society and Frozen Catfish Cottage Industry in Agege where APPEALS Project supported Lagos State Catfish Farmers Association of Nigeria with Blast freezers, Deep freezers and generator sets to encourage value addition through production of frozen catfish were commissioned by Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya.

The Commissioner for Agriculture, who reiterated Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration’s commitment to food security in Lagos State, also inaugurated a Cottage Broiler Processing Centre at Itamaga and an Egg Aggregation Centre at Erikorodo, both in Ikorodu .

Speaking during the inauguration of the four projects, Olusanya, who was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs. Olatokunbo Emokpae and Lagos State Coordinator of the APPEALS Project, Mrs. Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo, sought partnership and support between the government and farmers, especially the poultry farmers for wholesale processed chicken products and to completely bring to an end the importation of chickens and other foods.

Olusanya also stressed the importance of supporting Nigeria’s agricultural food chain and the farming community to meet the demands of Lagos, the most populous state in Nigeria, noting that Lagos APPEALS Project has impacted thousands of farmers in the State in the aquaculture, poultry and rice value chains.

The Commissioner of Agriculture said the Eko Farmers APPEALS Cooperative Multipurpose Society is a good platform that will help farmers with second-level financing and urged them to make good use of it.

She said the Lagos State Government will work collaboratively with farmers in different sectors, value chains, and clusters to address the needs of Lagosians and provide substantial support to local farmers.

She said: “We import more than we export. We consume from outside more than we produce internally. We need to support the agricultural food system of Nigeria and the farmers at large. We need to support farmers to produce enough to cater to the needs of Nigerians and Lagosians,  which is why Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu believes in the food actors.”

Speaking earlier, the Lagos State Coordinator of the APPEALS Project, Mrs. Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo said the Cottage Broiler Processing Centre at Itamaga and an Egg Aggregation Centre at Erikorodo, Ikorodu were provided for the farmers based on assessment needs to improve their productivity.

Sagoe-Oviebo, while urging the farmers to make good use of the facilities provided by the Lagos APPEALS Project, said the broiler processing centre will address the issue of foreign exchange in importing chicken from abroad and reduce the cost of production for local production.

She said the Eko Farmers APPEALS Cooperative Multipurpose Society is owned and controlled by the farmers with the hope that it would metamorphose into a microfinance bank for farmers in Lagos State.

The Chairperson of Eko APPEALS Cooperative Multipurpose Society,  Alhaja Nurat Omotayo Atoba, said the cooperative is going to be run by credible farmers and professionals.

“We are looking at transforming this cooperative into a microfinance bank;  a financial institution for all the farmers in Lagos State, whereby farmers can come in, make their savings and collect loans. It is going to be the first of its kind in the country by the time we take off,” she said.

Speaking during the inauguration of the Egg Aggregation Centre at Erikorodo in Ikorodu,  the Chairperson of the Erikorodo Poultry Estate Farmers Association (EPEFA), Mrs. Ibitoye Juliana, described the commissioning as a historic milestone for farmers in Erikorodo and Ikorodu at large.

She said:  “We appreciate all the support from the APPEALS Project programme. The steady, constant and robust support of the Lagos State Government to farmers is greatly appreciated.

“This aggregation centre is another evidence of your support for we farmers in adding value to our produce and contributing more towards the food security of our dear Lagos State.”

Speaking at the inauguration of the Cottage Broiler Processing Centre at Itamaga in Ikorodu, the Chairman of the Cluster,  Mr. Bartholomew Akhigbe, said the processing centre will boost their productivity and assist farmers in their quest to phase out the imported chicken.

He commended Lagos APPEALS Project for helping the poultry farmers with the processing centre, saying it would improve and enhance their productivity.

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