The Lagos State Government has said it earned about N128million in agricultural investments in the first quarter of 2021.
The figure represents about 127 percent growth in the sector, the State Government added.
State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Busola Olusanya made this known during a press briefing as part of activities to mark Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s second year in office.
Olusanya disclosed that the state had spent N20 billion of the N25 billion earmarked for the construction of the Imota Rice Mill in Epe.
The mill, which is expected to produce 32 metric tonnes of rice per hour, is said to be the largest in sub-Saharan Africa.
She said, “The mill will help to strengthen the economic rigour of the country and enhance economic resilience because the facility will create over 250,000 jobs across the value chain in Lagos and across Nigeria,”
The commissioner also added that the rice mill will be billed for opening before the end of the year.
To achieve the aforementioned, Olusanya noted that the government had trained and empowered 800 rice farmers with high-yielding farrow 44 seeds, new high-quality knapsack sprayers, rain boots and farm coats among others.
In her response to the sudden disappearance of Lake Rice in the market, Olusanya revealed that the floods and COVID-19 pandemic were responsible for the scarcity of the brand in the market.
Lake rice is a product of the collaboration between the Lagos State and Kebbi State Governments launched in 2016 towards making Lagos self-sufficient in rice production and to make it available at a subsidised rate.
In her words, “It is not that Lake rice is missing to the extent that it will not surface again. Lake rice is still in existence.
“I think we need to go back to a lot of things that happened last year. Lake rice was available last year in January and February, COVID-19 hit us in March and subsequently, we had issues around flooding, particularly in Kebbi.
“The impact of the flooding was grave on rice farms in the state. So, it is not so much about why it is not available, it is a function of why in the producing state there were so many issues on production and supply, for them to process and send to us”
Olusanya, therefore, confirmed that the partnership was still in existence and assured that the brand will soon return to the market on a big scale.