Lagos State Government has stated that its World Bank-assisted Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project would be constructing and rehabilitating no fewer than 13.16km farm access roads in four cluster areas across the State.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, who made this known at a press briefing in commemoration of the second year in office of the Governor Sanwo-Olu led administration, explained that the access roads when completed would aid better movement to and from the farms, reduce losses of broken eggs occasioned by bad roads and subsequently, improve the productivity of the concerned farmers.
Olusanya noted that the evaluation and engineering design for four access roads in Igbodu and Araga in Epe, Erinkorodo in Ikorodu and Afowo in Badagry have been finalised and construction would commence soon.
She said, “The Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Support (APPEALS) Project is a World Bank-assisted project aimed at enhancing the productivity of small scale farmers in the three identified value chains of poultry, aquaculture and rice through capacity building, provision of infrastructure and empowerment”.
“The project will be rehabilitating and constructing 13.16km Farm Access Roads (FARs) already identified in four different clusters across the State. The design of the Bill for Engineering Measurement and Evaluation is at the final report stage. The advertisement for potential contractors and subsequent implementation will be carried out once the work plan is approved by Mr. Governor”, she asserted.
According to the Commissioner, 1,621 regular beneficiaries under the Project’s Women and Youth Empowerment Programme (WYEP) have been trained in agribusiness management and other soft skills within the last two years out of which 462 of them have received No Objections on their Business Investment Plans (BIPs) and are presently implementing their projects, adding that other beneficiaries would equally be supported before the end of the year.
Stating that the APPEALS Project had equally identified and verified 9,942 farmers, Olusanya added that 8,156 Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) had received at least one form of training in relevant areas of agribusiness to enhance their agricultural productivity and improve value addition.
She noted that no fewer than 460 beneficiaries were sponsored for training, workshops and conferences out of which 425 are farmers, stating that the most important of the programmes was the project collaboration with Africa Leaders Forum on second level financing, which was tagged Agripreneurship Export and Financial Literacy training.
In her words: “A cluster of fish farmers at Badagry has adopted the production of fish crackers and fish cakes. Over 1000 packs (696 kg) of fish fillet and crackers had been produced and sold during the period under review”.
“Use of nets for the control of birds in rice farming had since been adopted by our farmers. Over 100 rice farmers in Ganyingbo, Badagry are presently trying this technology with other agronomic practices learnt through the State collaboration with AfricaRice, IITA, Ibadan”, the Commissioner averred.