Fashola Commissions Farm Service Centre

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Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has commissioned the Farm Service Centre in Oko Oba, Agege, Lagos, southwest Nigeria. This is in line with the state government’s determination to boost food production as well as bring service closer to farmers and stakeholders.

The governor promised that by 2025, the state would produce at least 20 to 25 per cent of its food needs locally and 60 percent target by 2050.

He said the centre was the first in the series, as government had commenced the process of decentralising the centre by replicating it in the five divisions of the state to bring service closer to the people.

The governor, who was represented at the commissioning and also at this year’s Farmers Appreciation Day by his Deputy, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, recalled that the old Farm Service Centre was established some 50 years ago as a Livestock Training Centre before it was upgraded by the present administration, stressing that many farmers that were trained by the centre in the past were successful farmers today.

He noted that the centre had trained 1,000 farmers since its inception in all aspect of livestock, poultry, piggery and snail production, while reiterating that the reality today was that the country is faced with the challenge of feeding its huge population and that food security was being threatened by rising food prices, which is a major sign of food crisis in Nigeria.

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“Food security, which is one of the cardinal programmes of the 10-point agenda of my administration, is also an integral part of the Lagos State Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (LASEEDS) document as well as the resolutions of the Ehingbeti summit and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

“It also tallies with the objectives of establishing the farm service centre to train more people in sustainable food production,” he added.

Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, said the centre was conceived out of the pressing need to expand the scope of support services to farmers in the state and empower them through knowledge impartation, capacity building and training programmes.

Lawal disclosed that the centre would aim to provide accurate, timely and reliable information and advise farmers on topics ranging from crops and livestock production, modern research, innovation and technology; government programmes, services and farm business management, including entrepreneurial modules.

—Kazeem Ugbodaga