Ms. Abisola Olusanya, Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, has lauded farmers and other stakeholders in the Agricultural value chain for their hard work in ensuring food security, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown.
She gave this commendation at the December edition of the Eko City Farmers’ Fair and Farmers’ Appreciation Day held at the Ndubuisi Kanu Park, Alausa, Ikeja.
According to her words at the event, farmers and key stakeholders in the agricultural sector ensured that the food supply chain was not broken during the year, despite the issues and disruption the sector experienced this year which stretched the food value chain.
The Commissioner stated that the farmers took up the task to provide Lagosians access to food despite the issues experienced in terms of supply during the lockdown when demand for food was stretched beyond existing supply in the chain.
Olusanya pointed out that in line with this was the Farmers’Appreciation and Award Day event, as the government of Lagos State needs to show appreciation for the contribution of the practitioners to achieving the goals of the T.H.E.M.E.S. Agenda.
In this regard, the agricultural sector will continue to get a lot of attention from the State Government, as the government is keen to improve the supply chain and ensure that stability is restored despite the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.
She maintained that the Eko City Farmers Fair was designed to be a melting point for farmers to sell directly to consumers and for Lagosians to buy farm-fresh products directly from stakeholders at farmgate prices while shopping in a relaxed atmosphere.
What they are saying
Ms. Abisola Olusanya applauded the farmers for not backing down this year despite the challenges experienced, in her words, she said:
“Many thanks to you our dear farmers, you stood by us by ensuring that the food supply chain was not broken at any time. It was stretched yes, but with your efforts and God’s grace it was not broken.
“Let there be no doubt in your minds concerning how appreciative this administration is when it comes to your contributions to ‘Making Lagos a 21st Century Economy’. What we are doing today is the least we can do to appreciate you.
“We want people to be able to come here with their kids to be able to shop and for the kids to be happy as well. That is the essence of having a positive atmosphere. Another thing is for us also to appreciate our farmers today, we realized that this year has been a very, very tough year, especially for farmers, considering all they have been through.
“However, there is no better way than to start to put our farmers on a platform where they are also recognized locally. It’s been done in other climes and we need to start that from Lagos at least for this year.”
What you should know
- According to the Commissioner, the agricultural sector was impacted by difficulties in key subsectors, as farmers in subsectors such as piggery, poultry and fishery suffered key material losses on their biological assets, owing to viral disease infection which affected yields and biological productivity.
- These losses are key to the prevailing issues reflective in the prices of livestock as well as their produce, as prices of eggs, chicken, fish and chicken rose sharply during the year.
- She pointed out that, the poultry farmers had to deal with the issues of avian influenza which affected poultry birds productivity and increased their mortality rates, while piggery farmers, had to faceoff with the swine flu that happened, as they lost their biological assets, and this impacted their means of livelihood
- The commissioner revealed at the event that poultry farmers are still under a lot of strain right now as they are not able to get poultry feed. While Fish farmers are also under stress with the cost of fish feed.