By Maxwell Adeleye
The Lagos State Government (LASG) on Tuesday said it had acquired and started cultivation on a total of 634.6 hectares of farmland in the three states of Ogun, Osun and Abuja.
Mr Sanni Okanlawon, the Special Adviser on Food Security to Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode made the remarks at the state’s Ministerial Press Briefing in Lagos.
Okanlawon said that the lands were acquired for the major purpose of producing and bringing food to Lagos State for consumption.
“The state government is making sure that what Lagosians consume is fresh, wholesome and healthy, that is why it has taken steps to ensure that the source of meals consumed here are known.
“Currently, 500 hectares have been acquired in the Yewa Local Government of Ogun State for rice production. Already, 128 hectares have been cultivated and the rest is available for rice investors to show interest in.
“Also, 84.6 hectares in Okini Osogbo, Osun State for the production of palm oil and cassava and whatever is produced comes back to the state for consumption.
“Another 50 hectares in Kuje, Abuja is for cattle rearing and ratting. All these are put in place to ensure reduction of diseases in the state,’’ he said.
The special adviser also said that the recommendations from the Food Security Summit held in November 2016 were being worked on and the outcome would be evident soon.
According to him, the agribusiness department in the ministry would be established before the next press briefing would be held in 2018.
“Also, the Commodity Exchange Market recommended is being processed and all the modalities are being worked on, like paying a certain amount to the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“Building of both wet and dry silos at the Imota Agro Park is currently being worked on, also, registration with the stock exchange and partnering with other commodity exchange markets.
“All these we are pursuing religiously to ensure that the state scores another first in the area of commodity exchange,’’ Okanlawon said.
On the commercialisation of Lake Rice, Okanlawon said that distributors were being engaged for the commodity to be available at the open market.