The government Lagos state says the FADAMA model is worth emulating by various levels of governments as the policy is efficient and productive in improving the agricultural sector of the country.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Gbolahan Lawal, made the statement when he received members of the Implementation Completion Review (ICR) Mission Team of FADAMA in his office at Alausa.
The FADAMA III (Additional Financing) Project is a grant to Lagos State from the World Bank’s (IDA) loan through the Federal Government to support the ramping and upscaling of selected staples including rice, cassava, tomato, sorghum across the country.
The project operated for five years between 2014 and 2019 with Lagos State participating as a core state with rice mandate; the project technically closed on Dec. 31, 2019 across the nation.
Lawal said that FADAMA legacies were enduring having thrived for almost three decades through various regimes and eras including military and democratic governments.
He commended members of the team, saying that Lagos State had benefited a lot from FADAMA’s project and had inspired certain policies that the state had embarked upon to improve food security and availability in the state.
The commissioner was happy that the FADAMA project particularly aligned closely with the T.H.E.M.E.S. development agenda of the state government of making Lagos a 21st century economy.
The T.H.E.M.E.S. is an acronym standing for Traffic Management and Transportation; Health and Environment; Education and Technology; Making Lagos a 21st Century state; Security and Governance.
He said it (FADAMA) would provide support through grants transfer for livelihood support, direct and indirect employment, rapid increment in the national food basket and many others.
“The state government is already planning to mainstream the FADAMA model into its agriculture delivery system,’’ the commissioner said in a statement.
Lawal said the model aligned with the state’s initiatives on rice, especially with the imminent completion of the 32 tonnes per hour capacity rice mill at Imota.
“FADAMA legacies are enduring, having thrived for almost three decades through various regimes including military and civilians, hence governments at all levels should mainstream Fadama model into their activities.
“We in Lagos state have already keyed into the Additional Financing Project with our investment in the upgrade of the 2.5 tonnes rice mill at Imota to a 32 tonnes per hour integrated facility, which is set to create over 250,000 jobs on completion,” Lawal said.
The commissioner admitted that the state alone could not produce enough paddies to meet the paddy needs of the new Imota Rice Mill.
He expressed the willingness of the state government to partner with other states and stakeholders to source paddy for the rice mill.
The commissioner urged members of the team to visit the site of the nearly-completed rice mill, when the team embarked on field visits of FADAMA project sites in order to have a first-hand experience of the mill.
Dr Peter Kukwi, FADAMA Team Leader, explained that the Federal Government Borrower’s Implementation Completion Review (ICR) Mission was a statutory exercise to review the FADAMA III AF activities.
According to him, with a view to independently assess, ascertain and document project’s achievements.
Kukwi said it was also to review success stories, learning points, key challenges and making recommendations for future projects.
Also, Mr Jonathan Obayemi, the FADAMA Project Coordinator in Lagos, enumerated some of the project’s achievements in the state.
He said studies conducted at the end of the project in December 2019, revealed among others, that 98 per cent of the beneficiaries of the project in the state, had their income increased by at least 40 per cent.