Lagos State Government (LASG) says its muti-billion naira 32 Metric Ton per Hour Rice Mill at Imota would be delivered on or before the end of the year.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal who disclosed this over the weekend at the 2020 Ministerial Press Briefing to commemorate the one year anniversary of the State Government explained that the Rice Mills has attained 80% completion level compared to 35% when the administration came in May last year.
According to the Commissioner, the Mill when operational would ensure a steady supply of freshly processed rice of about 2.4 million bags of 50kg per annum to Lagosians in addition to over 250,000 jobs that would be created in both the upstream and downstream sectors of the Rice Value Chain.
Lawal noted that effective efforts have been put into backward integration along the Rice Value Chain to ensure adequate supply of Paddy to the Mill for smooth operation stressing that the backward integration includes the identification of farmers’ groups in conjunction with other States to cultivate the required amount of paddy and the provision of inputs such as seeds, fertilizers and irrigation facilities where applicable to the farmers.
“This mill has attained 80% completion level compared to the 35% completion level it was in May 2019. When operational, the Mill will ensure a steady supply of freshly processed rice of about 2.4m bags of 50kg per annum to Lagosians in addition to over 250,000 jobs that would be created in both the upstream and downstream sectors of the Rice Value Chain.
“To meet the Paddy requirement of the Mill, we have undertaken a backward integration in form of collaboration with other States like South-western States, Kwara, Sokoto, Benue, Borno and Kebbi .This will be done leveraging on the Anchor Borrower Scheme of the Central Bank with the Rice Mill as the off taker of the products,” Lawal averred.
The Commissioner explained that the Agricultural Youth Empowerment Scheme (Agric- YES) has been revamped within the lasy one year in such way that a total of 15,000 women and youths would be trained and empowered in the various Agricultural Value Chains especially poultry, aquaculture, rice, piggery and vegetable production by the year 2023.
“The Agriculture-based Youth Empowerment Scheme, Agric- YES is an initiative of the Lagos State Government which targets to encourage youths and women who are interested in Agriculture to embrace the sector.
“One of its major objectives is to achieve a significant reduction in unemployment, create more jobs and wealth and significantly enhance food security in Lagos State by year 2023. It also seeks to promote the State’s target of producing at least 25% of the food consumed by residents of the State before the end of year 2025,” the Commissioner noted.
He noted that the need to meet the challenges of up scaling food production in the State made the Ministry to treat agriculture as both a business and development platformsbyusing strategic partners to stimulate investment in the State.
“The increasing population of the State put pressure on the State’s food security, supply mechanism and available infrastructure hence the need to prepare adequately to meet the challenges to upscale food production cannot be over emphasized. The Ministry has therefore treated agriculture as both a business and development platformswitha plan to use strategic partners to stimulate investment in the State,” he said.
The Commissioner explained that his Ministry’s roles in the T.H.E.M.E.S developmental agenda are to ensure food security and improved nutrition for Lagosians; wealth and employment generation with inclusive participation of youth and women; create enabling environment for private sector investment and institution of policies that support sustainable agri-business practices.
“It is important to reiterate that the vision of making Lagos a 21st century economy through Agri-business transformation would result in the attainment of four goals: contribute to job and wealth creation by training 15,000 people; ensure food security and improved nutrition; move to the top of key agricultural value chains and increase Internally Generated Revenue for the State Government,” Lawal added.