LAGOS LAUNCHES TRACTOR–ON–THE-GO SCHEME TO BOOST MECHANISED FARMING
… Over 3,000 Farmers to Access Tractor Hailing Operations
The Lagos State Government has launched the Eko Agro Mechanisation Scheme through which farmers will henceforth have access to statewide tractor-hailing operations as part of measures to boost mechanised farming and ensure sufficiency in food production.
Speaking at the launch held at the Agricultural Training Institute, Araga, Epe, Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, said the scheme marked another demonstrable evidence of the commitment of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration towards the growth of agriculture and attainment of food security.
Olusanya said, through the scheme, over 3,000 farmers would have access to modern mechanised farming equipment to efficiently and smoothly cultivate over 9,000 hectares of land, thereby giving a quantum leap to food production, among other economic benefits.
She explained that about 20 Tractors, 12 Ploughs, 10 Harrows, Seven Tipping Trailers, Two Boom Sprayers and other equipment were procured to kick-start the scheme, adding that they will be stationed in the three strategic agrarian zones of the State, namely Badagry, Ikorodu and Epe, and would serve different farming clusters.
”The Badagry Zone will serve Avia, Igborosun, Gayingbo, Gberefu, Ajara, Yafin, Itoga, Iworo, Ajido, and Mowo agrarian clusters, while Ikorodu Zone will serve Agbowa, Imota, Odogunyan, Gberigbe, Igbalu, Ijede, and Erikorodo. Epe Zone will serve Araga, Igboye, Igbodu, Itoikin, and Ejinrin”, Olusanya said.
The Commissioner said, aside from increasing the production of food which should help lower prices and afford Lagosians a higher disposable income, the scheme would also provide a positive impact on the economic growth of the State by creating a means of livelihood for the unemployed.
Her words, “The job creation multiplier effect will easily reach 9,000 Lagosians and the optimal use of more areas of land within a short period of time. The initiative will also minimise land-grabbing activities”.
“For us, agriculture in Lagos State is indeed set for a new dawn. Our farmers, more than ever, can hope for increased yields, productivity, and more profits as they till more farmlands seamlessly through the Tractor-on-the-Go app”, Olusanya said.
The Commissioner also averred that the scheme was in furtherance of the Five-Year Agricultural and Food Systems Road Map developed for the State in 2021 to scale local food production from the present 20% of domestic food requirement to 40% in line with the objective to prepare ahead for the population growth of Lagos which has been projected to hit 30 million by 2030.
Earlier in her opening remarks, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs. Olatokunbo Emokpae said the primary goal of the Eko Agro Mechanisation scheme was to ensure unfettered access to farm mechanisation services, especially for smallholder farmers via a cost-friendly approach.
She said tractor drivers were also exposed to various training to upgrade their skills in the operation and maintenance of the tractors and ancillary equipment for the scheme. She urged them to put the knowledge acquired during training into practice and ensure that the tractors and equipment are handled with extra care so as to deliver maximum benefits to farmers across the State.
According to her, “As a Ministry, we will not relent in our efforts to ensure the vision for a Greater Lagos is achieved through the deployment of technology and mechanisation towards the promotion of food security”.
“To all our farmers, the scheme being flagged off has been provided to serve as an avenue for you all to take advantage of the rare opportunity geared towards improving your farm productivity and income generation”, Emokpae said.