• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Lagos farmers get N912m under APPEALS project to boost food production

Lagos farmers get N912m under APPEALS project to boost food production

Smallholder farmers in Lagos state who are beneficiaries of the Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement, and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) project have received N912million matching grants to boost food production and agricultural exports.

The APPEALS project is a World Bank-assisted project aimed at supporting farmers productivity and their linkages to markets, build the capacity of small and medium scale agribusiness enterprises.

Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo, the state project coordinator (SPC), made this known at a presentation of the APPEALS project’s major achievements in 2020 in Lagos recently.

She stated that the farmers were qualified for the matching grants after the state was able to provide its counterpart contribution.

She highlighted that the projects had received 71 no objections from the World Bank. “71 no were received under the matching grants valued at N912.98 million with IDA cost of N746.86 million.”

She says that 879 farmers, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) had been supported directly with inputs and equipment across poultry, rice, and aquaculture value chains.

She added that 3, 516 had benefited indirectly, while over 8,500 farmers had received training and demonstrations with strong evidence of positive result effect on Php Data Objectives (PDO).

Sagoe-Oviebo, while appraising the project’s activities in 2020, said that the virus outbreak did not affect the delivery of its mandate to farmers in targeting export and nutrition-sensitive technology.

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“Currently, we have 10, 000 direct beneficiaries; 60,000 indirect beneficiaries; identified and verified 9,942 farmers across the three value chains – rice, poultry, and aquaculture,” she said.

“One thousand seven hundred (1,700) of green hands farmers; 3,601 farmers in aquaculture, 2,866 in poultry and 1,689 for rice value chains, while 8,156 existing farmers have been verified,” she further said.

“Fifteen demonstrations were carried out in 2020 bringing the total to 23 from inception till date representing over a 100 percent achievement from the project’s target of 17 per state,” the project coordinator added.

She assured that the project will continue to build on the successes made in 2020 towards achieving the overall project development objective as well as contributing to the THEMES agenda of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration.

Speaking on the project’s 2021 plans, she says the project will establish 1,465 agribusinesses for women, youths, and others in 2021 as well as provide physical support to 3,000 farmers directly and over 12,000 indirectly through its infrastructural support, job creation, and training.

“The 1,465 businesses for the Women and Youth Empowerment Programme (WYEP) and the People With Disability and Special Needs (PWDSN) will be established and their livelihoods improved through physical improved assets supports,” she said.

“Desilting of canals in five locations across the state will be delivered to reduce fish losses owing to flooding that will lead to productivity enhancement in the sector,” she further said.

“Also, 20 solar-powered kiosks will be supported, energy interventions in two locations will be done as well as 10 cottage processing industry, aggregation centres, and income-generating assets will be done,” Sagoe-Oviebo said.

She noted that activities under the project collaboration with research institutes and other project implementations were greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ENDSARS protest.

However, she says the project had maintained a good relationship with AFricaRice under the out-growers scheme as well as certification in conjunction with Rice Seed Council during the period.

Speaking on some of the challenges faced she said the delay in getting CAC certificates for beneficiaries under WYEP was a major hurdle for the project during the year.

Also, the rehabilitation of farm access roads was backloaded, among others, hoping that 2021 would be better.

Sagoe-Oviebo, however, appreciated Gov. Babatunde Sanwo-Olu for increasing the percentage of the People Living with Disabilities (PLD) from five percent to 10 percent to be supported directly from the counterpart funds.

She added that the project had put in place mechanisms to monitor beneficiaries’ activities as well as a Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM), among others, for the smooth operations of the project’s target.