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Lagos, Kwara, Niger States Partner For Food Security

By Femi Akinola

Lagos, Kwara and Niger States has initiated a partnership targeted at boosting food production and reducing waste during transportation of food items from farmlands to the markets.

The discussion took place shortly after President Bola Tinubu summoned an emergency meeting on food security upon his return to the country after a two-week private to France.

The first leg of discussion among the three states took place on Wednesday at the office of Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture in Alausa, the seat of the state government, Ikeja. Kwara State Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs. Oloruntoyosi Olufinmilayo Thomas and Niger State Commissioner for Industry, Trade Investment , and Private Sector Development, Aminu Suleiman Takuma, took part in the discussion.

In her opening remarks at the meeting, Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, said the forum was purposely to formalize collaboration among states of the federation to guarantee food security, translating into better lives for the people.

She noted that the partnership also targeted at minimizing waste during the movement of food crops and other perishable items from cultivation states to consumption places, including Lagos.

She said there is need to restore the value chains of food distribution to wholesalers with minimal financial backing from the government where necessary, for easy purchase in large quantities for retail sales adding that Lagos recognises the value of Kwara and Niger States in terms of food production and acknowledge Lagos readiness to buy over from these states and others.

According to Olusanya, whatever happens to Lagos will have a spiral effect on the other states of the federation, adding that food items including rice, tomatoes, cattle, cassava, maize and livestock are expected from Kwara State.

In her own contribution at the meeting, KwaraState Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs. Oloruntoyosi Olufunmilayo Thomas, expressed excitement about the collaboration, adding that Kwara State is ready to provide quality food on demand by Lagos or any other state across the federation, to improve the quality of lives of consumers.

Olufunmilayo explained that the collaboration is all about bridging the gap, empowering the farmers, and ultimately ensuring food security. However, she declared that Kwara State Government will first feed its people, then Lagos, and the entire nation.

On his part, the Niger State Commissioner for Industry, Trade, Investment, and Private Sector Development, Aminu Suleiman Takuma, expressed hope that the dream of collaboration would not end on the table but be translated into reality sooner.

He said the initiativewill make Agricultural transformation of Niger State work, adding that the state governor had started with 600 hectares of land and distribution of fertilizers to farmers.

 

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