• Thursday, May 30, 2024
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Stakeholders pleased with APPEALS Project implementation in Lagos

Abisola Olusanya

The six-day joint monitoring exercise to implementation sites of the Lagos State Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement, and Livelihood Support (APPEALS) project across the state ended on a very high note with the stakeholders commending the efforts of the project implementation unit.

Abisola Olusanya, Lagos acting Commissioner for Agriculture, disclosed that she was impressed with the impact of implementation support by APPEALS project thus far, saying that she had a fantastic experience during the field monitoring visit to the implementation sites.

She said the satisfaction and happiness expressed by the beneficiaries to the support of the Lagos APPEALS were particularly gratifying and laudable.

Olusanya gave the commendation during the wrap-up meeting of the joint monitoring exercise to APPEALS project implementation sites by stakeholders held recently in Lagos.

She appreciated Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State, for the prompt release of counterpart payment to match up the World Bank assisted project fund, as well as Obafemi Hamzat, deputy governor, who incidentally is the chairman of APPEALS project State Steering Committee for his support in ensuring the sustainability of the project.

She further disclosed that the state will soon start the implementation and popularization of urban farming, just as she urged members present at the meeting to start considering homestead farming to support the State Government’s drive for food security in the state.

Presenting the project brief, Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo, state coordinator of APPEALS Project, disclosed that about 20 demonstrations on improved technologies across the selected value chains of aquaculture, poultry, and rice have so far been carried out.

According to her, eight out of the demonstrations were carried out in 2019 and are now being used by farmers, while the project had also gone ahead to support farmers who sought support to adopt the new improved technologies.

Sagoe-Oviebo said part of the sites visited were those of beneficiaries from the Implemented 30 Value Chains Investment Plans (VCIPs), supporting 295 people consisting of 206 males and 89 females as direct beneficiary farmers and SMEs with Improved Inputs.

She also said another 38 VCIPs recently issued No Objections by the World Bank to support about 400 farmers as direct beneficiaries are under implementation, adding that the exercise will be completed before the end of September 2020.

“The implemented supports include floating cages, all-male tilapia / heteroclarias juveniles, tilapia feed / probiotic fish feed, barrier boom, collapsible fish ponds, industrial boreholes, Mechanical pumping machines among others for aquaculture farmers’ cooperatives groups.

The project also addressed a critical challenge of fish ponds flooding at Ikorodu through the excavation and desilting of the canal around the farms.

“Day Old Chicks Broilers, pelletized feeds, nipple drinkers with the cup, medications, point of lay birds, growers feed, layers mash probiotics, water tanks and scaffolds for Poultry farmers’ cooperatives and rice seeds, rice transplanters, thresher and winnower, harvester, motorized sprayers, ploughing and harrowing, fertilizer applicators, screw 3 nets, herbicides, fertilizer, insecticides among others for rice farmers’ cooperative groups were also implemented,” she said.

Besides, Sagoe-Oviebo said the Project has trained over 5000 beneficiaries this year and 1307 out of the 1621 regular beneficiaries under the Women and Youth Empowerment Programme since the inception of the project, while a Consulting firm has been engaged to conduct the agri-business needs assessments of 170 persons with disability and specially selected in the state for empowerment.

“Partners and stakeholders that were involved in the joint implementation support monitoring exercise were the officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, Office of the Deputy Governor, Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs, Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Project Financial Management Unit, State Treasury Office, Debt Management Office and Project Coordinating Unit (Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development) as well as the State APPEALS Project Implementation unit members,” Sagoe-Oviebo said.

The team members, while sharing their field experiences, expressed satisfaction with the level of implementation by the project and encouraged them to ensure the sustainability of supports by the beneficiaries.

APPEALS Project is a World Bank Supported Project developed to respond to widespread poverty, subsistence, low input, low output, and low equilibrium trap, which is a major focus of the Federal Government Agricultural Promotion Policy known as The Green Alternative (APP:2016-2020), among others.

The International Development Association (IDA) financing of the APPEALS project in the country is $200 million over six years in Lagos, Cross River, Enugu, Kano, Kaduna, and Kogi states.

The Project Development Objective (PDO) is to enhance the agricultural productivity of small and medium-scale farmers and improve value addition along priority value chains in participating states. The selected value chains for Lagos are poultry, rice, and aquaculture.