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BREAKING: Lagos requires N50b to produce 100,000MT of paddy rice

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The Lagos State Government has said it will require N50b to produce 100,000 tonnes of rice paddy this year. The Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Dr Oluwarotimi Fashola, who disclosed this during the Lagos Food Systems Stakeholders’ Breakfast Meeting, said the Imota Rice Mill was able to produce 15,000 tonnes of rice paddy in 2023.

“We started off with about 5,000 tonnes of paddy, and with the ingenuity of the team, we were able to partner with the Commodity and Exchange Board bringing another close to 10,000 paddy for us to end the year.

“We were able to do roughly about 15,000 tonnes of paddy, which is over 120,000 bags of rice in 2023, but this year, we are hoping to do 100,000 tonnes of paddy.

“Believe me, that is not cheap, because last year we started at about N200, 000 per ton, but today, as I speak, the cost of paddy is about N510, 000 per tonne.

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“In other words, if we are going to do 100,000 tonnes per paddy, we will need N50 billion,” he said.

In her presentation, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Abisola Olusanya, reiterated the state government’s commitment to implementing the five-year agricultural and food systems roadmap to achieve 40 per cent food self-sufficiency by 2025.

Olusanya said the state government would provide funds for agricultural service providers, improve rice paddy production and land bank collaboration with sister states.

“We will go live on eight projects, which include Central Logistics Hub, Lagos Aquaculture Centre of Excellence (LACE), capacity building for horticulture stakeholders, full operations and capacity building for stakeholders in the Lagos Food Production Centres.

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“Others are the execution of state-wide intervention and Green Wall Initiative,” she said.

The commissioner listed others as the establishment of the Agricultural Value Chains Entreprise Activation Programme, Agri-thon, Lagos Cares, Lagos Entrepreneurship Programme and the Lagos Agric Scholars Programme.

“The state government will also create the Lagos Agrinnovation Clusters, the Food Value Chains’ Destination, the Lagos Central Food Security System and Logistics Hub and the Middle-Level Agro Product Hub.”

Olusanya said part of the roadmap was to increase the production of the rice paddy in order to meet the growing rice consumption of the state.

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The commissioner said the state government would increase the production of rice paddy by partnering with other sister states, such as Niger and Kebbi, on land bank collaboration.

Olusanya listed the projects to be undertaken by the state government, including Lagos Rice Mill, the Central Logistics Hub, – the Red Meat Initiative, the Lagos Feedlot System and the Butchers’ Academy, among others.

She added that the ministry would set up the Lagos feedlot system, establish the Butchers’ Academy, and create a last-mile meat shop.

Olusanya said the purpose of the meeting was to inform the stakeholders about the ministry’s activities for the year 2024 and also get their contributions.

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The Head of Service, Olabode Agoro, said the state government is bringing back Operation Feed the Nation by allowing every civil servant to participate in the sector.

Agoro said his mother, a retired civil servant, was also into agriculture produce, urging the civil servants in the state to engage in agriculture.

In his remarks, the Commissioner for Economy, Planning and Budget, Mosopefolu George, said the state government has already increased its budget on agriculture.

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