Lagos partners Netherlands for inclusive, sustainable agricultural growth

Lagos State Government has strengthened partnership with the Netherlands to promote innovations that will boost inclusive and sustainable agricultural growth.

Michel Deleen, the Netherlands Consul General in Lagos, said this at an event organised by the Consulate and the state Ministry of Agriculture with the theme, “Urban Farming: Feeding the Cities”, in Lagos.

According to him, Netherlands intensified bilateral cooperation with Lagos State under the ambitious leadership of the governor, commissioners and the dynamic private sector.

Deleen, represented by his deputy, Mr. Arie Plieger, said cooperation was intensified in areas including circular economy, energy transition and horticulture.

He said the interest of the government in horticulture and greenhouse technologies testified to its ambition to make Lagos a smart and sustainable economic powerhouse, not only for Nigeria, but also for West Africa.

“It is a crucial time to talk about food and about how to improve food production not only in the interest of Nigeria, Lagos or the Netherlands, but this goes beyond borders and continents.

“We want to strengthen food security and food safety in the challenging context to have certainty that there will always be sufficient food.

“We want food to be of high quality and help people to stay healthy, while also protecting the environment.

“Agriculture, unfortunately, contributes also to greenhouse gas emissions and the government and private sector are working together to find local solutions for global challenges to make it better for now and the future,” he said.

Commissioner for Agriculture in Lagos State, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, emphasised the need for adoption of some of the technologies that have helped Netherlands to triumph in the area of Agriculture which would boost the local production and consumption.

Olusanya said with the population of Lagos State at about 22 million, the importance of food security cannot be over emphasized.

She noted that increasing urban farming was not just a government goal, but also a necessity considering the anticipated population growth to 30 million by the year 2030.

“It is important to note that the prospects of Urban Farming in Lagos State is paramount to the present administration as it will lead to availability of nutritious and healthy foods, create employment for our teeming youths and equally act as source of raw materials for the various manufacturing industries requiring the agricultural produce for their products.

“In the long run the chain will lead to generation of revenue, for government, to keep up with the duty of development and provision of infrastructure for the general populace.”

She said; “We may not be exporters of goods globally, but in Nigeria, we should be self-sufficient, by ensuring that we are able to export to at least export good to other West Africa countries and in Lagos, we should be able to export to other states.”

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