BusinessDay

Farmers want extension of Lagos APPEALS project

…as project supports 17,467 in 5yrs

Smallholder farmers in Lagos State who are beneficiaries of the Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement, and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) project have called for the extension of the initiative as it enters its last stage of execution.

According to the farmers, with the support from the Lagos APPEALS project they have been able to adopt new technologies in poultry, fish and rice production while scaling their businesses.

They called for the extension of the programme so that it impacts more farmers in the state.

Seyi Ladega, a poultry farmer from Erikorodo Poultry Association, Ikorodu, said she hopes the project gets extended and more grants to many farmers in the state.

She noted that the Erikorodo Poultry Association and other farmers in the state would transform Lagos into a broiler production hub in West Africa with the continued support of the APPEALS project.

Sejiro Oketojinu, the chairman of the Ashford Cooperative for fish in Badagry and one of the beneficiaries of the Lagos APPEALS cage culture project said the intervention from the APPEALS is the introduction of new technology in fish production through the construction of cages for them.

“For our cooperative, we have 10 members benefitting from 10 cages and 1,500 pieces of all Tilapia fingerlings as input and probiotic fish feed,” he said.

Similarly, Jolaoluwa Olumuyiwa, who is into aquaculture in Badagry said before the coming of APPEALS that they used to have an issue with the water, but noted that they have been assisted with good water treatment among others.

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The World Bank-supported project which is aimed at ensuring food security, nutrition-sensitive technology, and a sustainable business alliance has supported 17,467 beneficiaries including farmers and agro-processors in Lagos since its inception.

Through the project, the state government had built the capacity of 7,533 farmers, supported 1,786 women and youths with a minimum of N2 million cash, while 3,950 farmers were supported with inputs and equipment.

Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo, the state’s project coordinator, APPEALS Project, during a press briefing recently said the project, supported by the Federal Government and World Bank, had been partnering with stakeholders to enhance three agriculture value chains of aquaculture, poultry, and rice in Lagos State.

She said the project is a $200 million World Bank Supported project in six states, Lagos, Cross-River, Enugu, Kaduna, Kano, and Kogi which started on March 23, 2017, and is expected to end March 31, 2023.

Sagoe-Oviebo said that the project has three thematic areas which are; food security, export potential, and livelihood improvement, stressing that farmers in the state were supported in three value chains; rice, poultry, and aquaculture.

She said that an estimate of 10,000 direct beneficiaries is expected for each state but Lagos has exceeded its target as it has empowered no fewer than 17,467 farmers, SMEs and agro-processors.

She said that the project contributed a value of N333.94 million to the state GDP by 924 farmers supported by the project in 2020 from the production output survey validated by the Lagos State Bureau of Statistics (LBS) which translated to 0.07 percent.

She added that the project has created 12,350 jobs across all its activities and also reduced the likelihood of being poor by between five to 10 percent.

She stated that about N199 million worth of products in aquaculture, poultry, and rice have been sold by some women and youth since they receive grant support from the APPEALS project.

She said 40 SMEs were also supported with solar market kiosks to enhance value addition and marketing.

According to her, the productivity of rice paddy in the state has increased from 2.0 metric tons per hectare to 3.5 metric tons. Tilapia has increased from 100 kg to 140 kg, while broilers have increased from 1.8kg a bird per cycle to 2.35 kg.

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