LASG, SPFS empower Farmers with cash donations, farm implements

Farmers across all the three Senatorial Districts of the State, on Thursday, benefited from the State Government’s initiative under the State Programme for Food Security (SPFS) with the donation of several millions of Naira as cash support to farmers, as well as distribution of different farming implements to the beneficiaries.
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Farmers across all the three Senatorial Districts of the State, on Thursday, benefited from the State Government’s initiative under the State Programme for Food Security (SPFS) with the donation of several millions of Naira as cash support to farmers, as well as distribution of different farming implements to the beneficiaries.

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Speaking during the presentation of cheques and farming tools to the beneficiaries at the Y2021 Farmers’ Field/Appreciation Day held at Agege, Lagos, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, explained that the event was designed to appreciate and support farmers through the presentation of farming inputs, seeds and financial assistance to enhance their productivity.

She explained that the event, which was organised by the government, through the Lagos State Agricultural Development Authority (LSADA), under the auspices of National Programme for Food Security (NPFS), seeks to address the problem of household food security and poverty among farmers across the country.

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She added that the State Programme for Food Security (SPFS) has also provided support services such as extension, credit, nutrition education to farmers and consumers in the State, thereby improving their standards of living and livelihood.

The Commissioner maintained that “We must always bear in mind that farming at any scale is a business and businesses need clear linkages along the value chain from production to processing, to marketing and ultimately to consumption”.

“Investing in these farmers, many of whom are women and in the markets around them, is more important than ever. In order to feed a population expected to grow globally to nine billion people by Y2050, the world will needs to be more efficient in how it meets this demand”, she added.

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While congratulating the beneficiaries of the programme, the Commissioner urged them not to rest on their oars but put in their best and increase food production across the State.

Also speaking at the event, the representative of the National Coordinator of NPFS, Engr. Hassan Bawa, disclosed that the Federal Government in 2002 initiated and designed the National Programme for Food Security (NPFS).

According to him, Lagos State Programme for Food Security, LPFS, is the State branch of NPFS initiated to improve national and household food security, reduce rural poverty on a sustainable basis and also increase agricultural output and the incomes of rural households and beneficiary communities.

Bawa acknowledged the commitment of the Lagos State government towards the sustenance of the initiative, attributing it to purposeful leadership on the part of successive administrations in the State.

He said that Lagos State, being one of the selected States for the pilot phase, recorded an impressive performance which qualified the State for the Expanded Phase and later on the third phase, noting that Lagos has qualified for another five years with full support from the National Headquarters.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Hakeem Adeniji, described the farmers as responsible individuals, who will add to the vision of the State Government, and advised them to leverage technology to improve their farming method in order to align with their peers across the globe.

In his words: “You can only do us proud if what is given to you to boost your production and business is applied appropriately to expand the growth of your businesses. With that, you will be fulfilling the objectives of this programme, which is to enhance food security of the State on a daily basis”.

Earlier, the General Manager, Lagos State Agricultural Development Authority, Dr. Ferreira Sheteolu, informed that the agency is saddled with the responsibility of generating and distributing improved farming technology, new innovations and practices to farmers in the State.

According to him, the idea of procuring and distributing various farm inputs such as Knapsack Sprayers, Organic manure, Cutlasses, Hoes, Safety gadgets, Digital movable scales, Compost Plus and Water pumps among others, to farmer groups, will assist them in expanding their farms and food production in the State.

He revealed that a total of 6,650 farmers had benefitted so far from the programme, adding that the Y2021 edition of the initiative will directly impact 2,310 farmers through their various representatives.

Some of the Farmers’ Groups that have already benefitted from the initiative are Igbalu Gberigbe Site 6, Ayobo Ipaja Site 7, Labora Cams Site 2, Igbogbo Bayeiku Site 10, Mitonwe Tiwani Cams, Ajara Iya Afin Site 9 and Evergreen cams and Ibeju-Lekki Site 5 among others.

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A press statement by the Embassy on Friday, said: “During the visit, Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, to discuss regional security issues and to express the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.

“When we asked for their help, the Nigerian government answered the call. Our hostage recovery mission in October would have been impossible without their support.

“They quickly provided assistance that helped the U.S. military to save an American life. That is a strong example of our partnership with Nigeria.”

Townsend also met with senior military officials, including the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magash, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation.

Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.

Townsend said furthermore: “The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. is built on several pillars including security cooperation.

“U.S. Africa Command will do our part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy the more secure future they all deserve.”

As close partners, the U.S. and Nigeria have worked at ensuring the collaborative relationship continues to grow to include a commitment to interoperability. Nigeria purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which will be delivered later this year.

“Nigeria’s purchase of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is another example of their commitment to interoperability and security in the region,” he added. “Our economic relationship with Nigeria is already strong, and we look forward to the continued strengthening of security relationships. Nigeria’s leaders understand the importance of a collaborative approach to ensuring stability in West Africa and partnering on areas of mutual interest.”

The Commander also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Leonard said: “General Townsend’s visit to Nigeria demonstrates the strategic importance the United States places on our bilateral relationship with Nigeria.

“Our security cooperation partnership with Nigeria’s military will strengthen the country’s capabilities to secure land and sea borders, enhance overall security, and combat terrorism in the North East.”

As part of the visit, Townsend participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nigeria Military National Cemetery to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their nation.

During the visit, the delegation expressed their condolences for the seven service men killed in the crash of a Nigerian Air Force aircraft in Abuja.