Lagos State Government has inaugurated a new Food Market at Agbalata, in the Badagry Local Government area of the state in order to promote the structuring of agricultural produce marketing for traceability and quality assurance.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Abisola Olusanya who inaugurated the market explained that the new FADADA Food Market would also promote availability of wholesome food to the populace at affordable prices as well as create farm gate price advantage for the populace through the elimination of middlemen.
Olusanya said the market which was a product of a collaborative effort with multilateral Agencies, especially the World Bank and the Federal Government would also reduce post harvest losses whilst giving optimum returns to farmers for their efforts.
According to Olusanya, the Market which was solely for agricultural produce and value added products would also get food vendors off the street stressing that government would continue to be innovative at making resident households food secure while creating wealth and employment opportunities through the process.
“This market is a crowning glory to all other supports to beneficiaries in Badagry LGA vis-a-vis capacity building, provision of infrastructures like farm access road and aggregation centres, advisory services and inputs support and assets acquisition for farmers’ groups among others. The choice of Agbalata as the site of the market is strategic, being close to the international route and border”, Olusanya averred.
The Special Adviser stressed that Lagos State, being the commercial nerve center of the country with a growing population of over twenty million residents, is not just interested in consuming food but also striving to make significant contribution to production, value addition and marketing noting that with the daily influx of Nigerians into the State for a better life, the consequent food demand has skyrocketed and cannot be overemphasized.
She pointed out that even though the State has limited access to large expanse of agricultural land but nonetheless has enormous comparative advantage in processing and value addition hence it would continue to bring about shared prosperity to the citizenry.
“There is no gain saying that Lagos is indeed a MARKET PLACE for Nigeria and sub-sahara African. The State Government has developed a number of initiatives to optimize the use of available land and regulate the potentials within the agricultural space for the benefits of all.
To springboard these developments, the state has produced a 5-year road map (2020 – 2025) for sustainable and inclusive Agricultural growth strategy with citizens at the core.
“And to put life to this plan, Government is using multi-layered approaches. For a start, a Stakeholders’ workshop was convened to channel a new course for agricultural growth in the state, a comprehensive study of all farm settlements and farm estates was also carried out with a view to re-positioning them for wealth creation, employment provision and increased food output. The State is also championing interventions at all levels of production, processing, distribution, financing and support services”, she asserted.
Olusanya explained that the FADAMA Food Market would complement the planned monthly Eko-City Farmers’ Market with the goals of connecting producers with consumers and end users by using traditional and innovative methods to make shopping entertaining, produce accessible and affordable and preserve nutritional value of farm produce.
She therefore appealed to Local Government Authority, community members and Market users alike to ensure best hygienic practices at the Market as well as maintain it effectively and efficiently.