The Lagos State Government on Sunday said it had spent N1billion to support no fewer than 400 graduate farmers to set up their own farms.
Gbolahan Lawal, Commissioner for Agriculture and Co-operatives, said in Lagos that the beneficiaries were those trained under the state’s Agricultural Youths Empowerment Scheme(AGRIC-YES).
“The support is to give them a headstart in their farming businesses. We are currently operating a modern farm settlement scheme in Araga, Epe area of Lagos, where graduates are trained in different areas of agriculture under our AGRIC-YES programme.
“No fewer than 400 graduates, divided into four groups, are being exposed to practical and sustainable ways of practising aquaculture, poultry and crop cultivation, among others, using modern, fully automated equipment,” he said.
The commissioner said that the essence of the programme was to create a generation of modern farmers, while creating job opportunities and promoting food security.
“In the last one year, the state government has spent more than N1billion in form of inputs, tractors, cash and other essentials, to enable the graduates set up their own farms,” he said.
Lawal said that the programme was fully residential, adding that the government only recently inaugurated 200 units of two-bedroom apartments at the programme site, to improve the living standards of participants.
He said that the state government was committed to the food security of the state, saying that AGRIC YES was one of the efforts of government to demonstrate that.
Lawal noted that Lagos was a top producer of poultry and that the government was assisting farmers to boost poultry production.
“Maize is one of the major ingredients used in poultry feed mill and in order to ensure that farmers have all year supply of this ingredient for their animals, the government sells directly to them at subsidised prices.
“We have a poultry estate in Erikorodo in Ikorodu and the government is upgrading facilities and even providing more to boost production,” “he said.
Lawal said that government was also assisting fishermen in coastal communities of Ojo, Badagry and other parts, with boats and other inputs needed in their fishing business.
The Commissioner added that the state government had recently acquired land in Osun and Abuja for livestock and crop production.