The Lagos State Government has achieved taken a huge step in the efforts to achieve food sufficiency and drive sustainable supply, through women and youth empowerment, with the harvest of 100 metric tonnes of fish in Afowo community in Badagry.
Speaking at the harvest ceremony, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abiola Olusanya, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Hakeem Adeniji, said the harvest was a fulfilment of the Sanwo-Olu administration’s promise to explore open water bodies in the State for empowering local communities and improving food sufficiency.
Giving an insight into the journey towards the harvest, Ms. Olusanya said, “Governor Sanwo-Olu’s administration empowered 100 women and youth in Afowo riverine community about four months ago with fish cage culture production assets, which were stocked with fishes and mounted in the lagoon network. The fish stock is now ready for harvesting after attaining the projected maturity and market size.”
The Commissioner spoke further saying, “The goal of the intervention is sustaining good governance through enhanced food productivity and security, promoting sustainable agriculture and ensuring improved nutrition for the masses in alignment with the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda.”
Ms. Olusanya explained that the project is expected to contribute 100 metric tonnes annually to the State’s total fish production, in addition to providing employment opportunities for women and youth, while stimulating economic activities in the host community.
She pointed out that the feat was achieved through the commitment of beneficiaries who went through a rigorous training exercise on the cage culture system and were encouraged with allowances to boost their morale.
According to her, the Ministry is ready to concentrate efforts towards improving food production by deploying available resources in the State and invariably generating employment opportunities for the teeming youth population.
Reacting to the gesture of the government’s initiative and the harvest, some of the beneficiaries expressed gratitude to Lagos State for providing them with an opportunity to participate in the project, which has not only meaningfully engaged them in productive activities but also put them on the path of economic empowerment and financial independence.