Lagos flags off screening for local agric entrepreneurs

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…Targets 1700 Participants For Take-Off

Lagos State Government on Tuesday officially flagged off the screening of over 2000 applicants for support in the area of small and medium scale agriculture.

The initiative is aimed at raising about 1700 Agro Entrepreneurs to boost the State’s agricultural economy in a multi-phased process.

The exercise under the Agro Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) project of the Ministry of Agriculture was launched by the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Gbolahan Lawal in Ikeja, Lagos.

According to the Commissioner, this initiative of the government of Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu was programmed to upscale farmers in the state as well as provide linkage for them to the markets for distribution of their produce.

He said, “The Governor of Lagos, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu is in full support of this initiative of employment and income generation through agricultural technology innovation for Youth and Women in the State who are very active and ready to improve their livelihoods through agriculture.

“The scheme is targeted at helping Women and Youth Agro Entrepreneurs who are going to be empowered in order to achieve the objectives of meeting the food demands of over twenty million markets ready for them”, he added.

Appraising the activities of Lagos State in agricultural sector, the Commissioner pointed that international organisations also attest to the state’s robust policy and seriousness in ensuring farmers are supported hence World Bank collaboration in this area.

His words: “for the next four years, Lagos will have the benefit of being funded in APPEALS project and we are focusing on the value chains where we have comparative economic advantage which is poultry, rice and aquaculture.

“We are promoting this project and supported by the World bank to ensure that farmers, youth and women have a better livelihood under this project. This is because the state is forthright in his dealings with World Banks and the farmers”, he noted.

The Project Operations Manager, Dr Salisu Garba applauded the administration of Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu for a well co-ordinated screening process while expressing satisfaction with the state’s team handling the process.

He also revealed that apart from youth and women who will be funded under the APPEALS project, the State has also made provision for 10% inclusion of Persons With Disabilities, PWD who are active farmers and are ready to earn a living through farming.

Dr Garba said, “The essence of the project is to empower young male farmers from the age of 18 to 40 years while female farmers from ages 18 upwards and are active are the main focus of this scheme.

“The PWDs, because of their conditions cannot go through the same process as the able bodies, therefore, a special screening process will be set up for them as there are already 200 of them are already shortlisted for the program.

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Samson Gbenga Salau [Editorial Board Adviser] Gbenga Samuel Salau is a professional journalist with over 17 years experience in journalism, he is a graduate of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan. On completion of his youth service, he joined The Guardian as a freelance journalist and was later absorbed as a staff. While in the University, he was a campus journalist reporting for the Independence Hall and Faculty of Arts Press Clubs. As a campus journalist, he won the following awards; Independence Hall Press Best News writer; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best News Reporter/Writer; First Runner-up, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism; Association of Faculty of Arts Students’ Press Best Reporter; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Political Writer; Winner, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism, and University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Interviewer. He served the Association of Communication and Language Arts Students, as the Public Relation Officer, the same year he was appointed the News Editor of the Association of Faculty of Arts Students Press. The following session, he was made the General Editor, and a member of the 13-man University of Ibadan Students’ Union Transition Committee. As a reporter in The Guardian, in 2014, he won the Promasidor Quill Award Best Report on Nutrition and DAME Business Reporting category. In the 2015 edition of the Promasidor Quill Award, he won the best Report on Nutrition and Brand Advocate Categories, while in 2016, he won the NMMA Print Journalist of the Year, first runner-up Golden Pen Reporter of the Year and SERAs CSR Awards. Gbenga Salau loves traveling, reading, and listening to songs with good lyrics no matter the genre.

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