Lagos sets up vegetable estates, plans fruit farming
• To commemorate maiden International Fruit Day on July 1, 2
As part of the effort to encourage fruit farming and cultivation of crops and fruits in large scale, the State government has established vegetable estates at Agbowa and Iya-Afin in Ikosi-Ejirin and Badagry Local Council and Local Government areas respectively even as it reiterated commitment to encourage fruit farming through the expansion of existing arable crops estate in State.
Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Toyin Suarau, made this known on Tuesday at a press briefing to commemorate the maiden edition of the international fruit day celebration in Lagos.
Suarau, according to a press statement signed by the Assistant Director, Public Affairs, Tunbosun Ogunbanwo, said that the land has been surveyed and allocated to interested individuals and organization stressing that this is in line with the vision of making the nation a foremost fruits export country in Africa while creating job opportunities.
He said that a two-day activity has been set aside to commemorate the maiden edition of the international fruit day celebration in Lagos and that the objective of the events is to celebrate the diversity of fruits and its health benefits and encourage green economy in the area of fruit farming to create partnership for economic development.
Suarau added that the two-two day activities has been scheduled to hold on Friday 1st and Saturday July 2, 2015 at the Ministry of Environment Garden, Mobolaji Johnson Avenue, Alausa-Ikeja stressing that the theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Our Fruit, Our Wealth’.
He said, “the State government in conjunction with fruitful events has set a line of activities for the celebration which will feature symposium, workshop, exhibition and competition sessions where information, business relations and products information will be shared for mutual benefits”.
The Commissioner opined that the two day events will come with a range of benefits that will include sensitization on the need for increase of fruits and vegetable to fight non-communicable diseases and other health related issues as well as help stakeholders, intensify effort in the production of fruits grown in Lagos.
He posited that the symposium, workshop and exhibition are part of sensitization efforts for citizens to know the benefit of fruit farming emphasizing also that the commemoration of international fruit day celebration is a clarion call to people to know and partake in the investment opportunities the abound in fruit farming.
Suarau stated that Lagos is in the fore front in using technology to produce fruits and vegetables stressing that the State introduced greenhouse technology as part of efforts to increase fruit production per hectare in its arable farms.
“I therefore, encourage farmers and fruit marketers to use technology to ensure that fruit and vegetables are handled, preserved and transported in hygienic condition”, the Commissioner said.
While restating the commitment of the present administration towards the attainment of food security with partnership of every citizen, Suarau stated that the State government will continue to collaborate with any organization or individual directly or indirectly contributing to the achievement of food sufficiency and safety in Lagos State.
He added that the Ministry of Agriculture’s mandate is to facilitate food security by harnessing Public and Private investment to create a strong, mixed sector economy that can provide jobs for all and create the base for expanding social services and environmental sustainability.
The Managing Director of Fruitful Events, Mrs. Arafat Apooyin, one of the collaborating partners of this year’s International Fruit Day Celebration in Lagos stated that the basic objectives of the day is to celebrate the diversity of fruits in the country.