By Adebayo Obajemu
The Lagos State has concluded arrangements to establish an N10 billion Aquaculture Centre of Excellence (LACE) to promote local production and support the Federal Government’s move to stop fish import by 2022.
This is coming on the heels of the latest report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) that global consumption of fish is set to rise, highlighting the need to ensure sustainable fisheries management.
The state government also raised hope of rehabilitating state-owned estates fallen into dilapidation.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who spoke in Lagos yesterday at the distribution of agricultural input and productive assets to 2743 farmers under the 2020 agricultural value chains empowerment programme, explained that the project would be located on a 35-hectare land in Igbonla in Epe under a Public-Private partnership arrangement.
Represented by his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, the governor said the project was designed to boost the growth and development of aquaculture industry in the state through the production of 2,000 tonnes of fish yearly, provision of input to fish farmers under the Lagos Nucleus Farms (LANS) scheme and serve as off-taker for fish farm clusters.
“The experience of the past few months during the lockdown occasioned by COVID-19 Pandemic has further reinforced the urgent need to expand the State’s food production base to meet such spontaneous increase in demand for food in the future.
“In line with this realisation and to ensure sustained food production and supply in the State, we are establishing the Lagos Food Production Centres in Badagry and Epe.
The two centres will ensure the resuscitation, expansion, stocking of agricultural production facilities in various value chains and also develop Agro-Tourism centres in Lagos State Songhai project in Badagry and the Agricultural Training Institute, Araga, Epe,” he added.