Agro Financing

EXTERNALLY FINANCED PROJECTS WILL ASSIST LAGOS AGRIC POLICIES, SAYS OREDIPE

The support of externally financed projects has been described as the needed drive to ensure that the Lagos State agricultural policies come to fruition.

The Task Leader of the World Bank Assisted Agro-Processing, Productivity, Enhancement and Livelihood Support (APPEALS) Project, Dr. Adetunji Oredipe, stated this during the state’s Agricultural Stakeholders Engagement.

He noted that Lagos is a place that has the market for agriculture and other items needed in the sector because it has the population, sea, rail and land advantages.

“Today, we are discussing the agricultural strategy of Lagos State Government going forward in the next four years and in doing that, there are a number of elements that should come together.

“From the basic projects and policies that will be driven by the ministry, we also know that there are externally financed projects that will support such initiative, such as the APPEALS and FADAMA.

“We have been invited to be part of that discussion to give suggestions to fine-tune the state agricultural policies and more importantly to contribute from the point of somebody who has been supervising some of these interventions.

“We need to see that these interventions dovetail and add value to the overall objective that is being pursued in the sector,’’ he said.

A former Permanent Secretary of the state agric ministry, Dr. Yakub Bashorun said government could not work alone, hence the need for a round-table to deliberate on development and way forward.

He said while there are things government could do better, there are some, the private sector are good at, which is where the business aspect comes to play.

“However, there are areas that require public and private partnerships with multilateral organisations like the World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), among others; and APPEALS falls into this category to provide critical support to meet farmers’ needs, especially at the lowest ebb of production.

In his address, Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal called on stakeholders to treat agriculture as a combination of business and development platform by concentrating on value chains where the state has comparative advantage.

He explained that stakeholders engagement was convened in order to promote what he termed the “predict and provide syndrome” in policy decision making in governance, adding that the contributions and inputs of major stakeholders are important towards the attainment of the state government THEMES Agenda in the agriculture sector.

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