Lagos State government yesterday said it has subsidised LAKE Rice to the tune of N1, 049,140,395 from December 2016 till date as part of efforts aimed at sustaining food sufficiency and food security in the state.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Oluwatoyin Suarau, who disclosed this while giving the scorecard of the Ministry of Agriculture in the last one year at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, Ikeja, said LAKE Rice, which was being sold at a highly subsidised rate of N12, 000 per bag of 50kg, had helped crashed the skyrocketing price of rice in the country.
He said: “The state government has subsidised LAKE Rice under this review period with N1, 049, 140, 395.00. This is targeted towards ensuring food sustainability and food security in the state and as an end result, making LAKE Rice a national brand.”
Suarau explained that the subsidy include cost of transportation, bagging and difference in cost price of the rice from other brands. He added that a total of 150 marketers and other ancillary service providers had been empowered through the sale of LAKE Rice.
The commissioner, while restating the commitment of the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode administration to boost the production of rice, said the state government had completed an agreement to acquire and establish a 32- ton per hour rice mill with AG ‘Bühler,’ a leading ricemill producer in the world; stressing that the establishment of the rice mill was targeted at enhancing food security and creating employment in the state.
“It is estimated that the partnership would facilitate the creation of 274,000 jobs across the agriculture value chain, and will also bring about the cultivation of 32,000 hectares of farm land to produce rice paddy, equating to an estimated 130 million kilogramme of processed rice per year, which is an equivalent of 2.6 milion 50kg bags of rice,” he said.
The commissioner noted that the establishment of the state-of-the-art rice mill would serve as a platform for Lagos to partner with other South-West states aside the existing collaboration with Kebbi State.
This he added was in consonance with the re-gion’s resolve towards achieving economic integration, ensuring that adequate rice was supplied to the 32 metric tonnes per hour rice mill and make provision for empowerment programmes for farmers across all the value chains of agriculture.
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