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Thursday, 10 November 2016

Lagosians spend ‘over N3bn’ on food every day

Akinwunmi Ambode, governor of Lagos state, on Thursday said every day, food consumption in the state gulps over N3 billion.

Ambode said this at the maiden edition of the Lagos food security and exhibition summit.

He said his administration remained committed to achieving food security, and assured investors willing to do business in the agric sector that there is a ready market.

“Our core policy thrust towards achieving food security is to maximize the comparative advantage of the state in agriculture and establish partnerships with other states of the federation with comparative advantage in specific areas.”

Ambode said his administration had sealed a “landmark” partnership with the Kebbi state government for the development of agricultural commodities.

He added that the state decided to take its investment in the agricultural sector beyond its borders.

“We have also acquired agricultural land in other neighbouring states of Ogun and Oyo as well as Abuja,” he said.

“Specifically, 500 hectares of farm land has been acquired for rice cultivation in Eggua, Ogun State, 84.7 hectares at Okinni in Oshogbo for oil palm processing, among others.”

He said the summit was organised to bring together stakeholders in the agricultural sector to proffer solutions to the challenges militating against the achievement of food security.

Ambode added that in the wake of the economic challenges facing the country, there was no better time for the nation to review its approach and the redirection of its energies to food production.

“Behind every dark cloud, they say, is a silver lining. One of the challenges the current economic recession has brought to the fore is the urgent need to develop a sustainable programme that will guarantee food security for our people,” he said.

“As a nation, in the past, we spent billions of foreign exchange on importation of food and food items many of which can be cultivated in our country.

“Our country is blessed with very good arable land and a climate that supports food production. We can achieve food security and create employment opportunities for our teeming youth if we put in place the right policies and incentives that will attract significant investment into the Agricultural sector.”

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