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Food security: Sanwo-Olu following through the plan

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It is no elephant project and the expectations of Lagosians will not be cut short, especially at this challenging time that the country is facing a hard biting food inflation but it is also pertinent to tell Lagosians that a forward looking leadership that they gave their mandate to is surging on  with an enduring solution to food insecurity by creating a system which protects the citizens from food shortage which enables inflation.

As part of the plans to commission the first phase of the Lagos State Food and Logistics Hub at Ketu-Eregun , Epe by the end of this year,  Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu met with the management team of Rungis International Wholesale Food Market in Paris, France, the second largest food market in the world will be partnering with the Lagos State Food and Logistics Hub to deliver a narrative changing service in the agricultural produce value chain in the state and by extension the whole country. The meeting  centred around the crucial role markets play in addressing the complexities of modern food systems, as well as exploring potential collaborations for the Lagos Food and Logistics Hub project.

During the meeting, the governor and his team were able to establish concrete plans for effective collaboration between Rungis International Market, renowned as the world’s second largest wholesale food market, and the Lagos State Government.

Among the key individuals present were the Chairman and Executive Officer of Semmaris, Stephane Layani; Director of the International Business Unit, Bertrand Ambrouse; Head of International Projects at Semmaris-Rungis Market, Timothée Witkowski; Chairman of Origin Group, Prince Joseph Samuel; Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Abisola Olusanya; Special Adviser on Agriculture, Dr. Omotola Fashola; and Mr. Olaniwun Gbolabo Owolabi.

Sanwo-Olu performed the ground breaking  ceremony of the state Central Food Security Systems and Logistics Hub in the last quarter of 2022 and Hub being the largest of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa is aimed at regulating the production ,storage food preservation, distribution in addition to stabilizing market prices and reduce wastage towards the promotion of food security in the state.

It is estimated that the annual value of food transaction in Lagos is US$10 billion. However, farmers lose 40 per cent of  their produce everyday because there is no post harvest storage infrastructure, when completed the logistics centre is expected to provide direct income to more than 5 million traders in the  agricultural value chain, while ensuring uninterrupted food supply to more than ten million Lagosians for at least ninety days in times of scarcity.

The Hub is expected to secure higher returns for farmers and agric businesses investors ,cut out a number of middlemen and improve access to sophisticated processing and packaging services also the logistics centre is expected to help reduce logistics cost ,while ensuring standardization of the quantity and quality of agricultural products.

Just as the logistics Hub will address the issue of productivity, it will also guarantee higher yields to farmers by eliminating several middle farmers with better access to  modern processing and packaging services and generate useful data for government agencies,private sector and multilateral organisations.

Aside being an antidote to food insecurity there is also the scientific benefits to this milestone achievement as it enables the government to develop meaningful data for public planning and private sector investments forecasting.

Already, the state government has started a pilot scheme with a middle level market operation as three middle market has been built in three local government and five additional markets are being constructed as the government connect the dots in giving the citizens a food and logistics Hub which will change the face of wholesale food market in Lagos .

To all Lagosians, who have persevere, this phase of food inflation will soon pass away because seated on a 1.2 million square metre site in Ketu-Ereyun in Epe is a Food and Logistics Hub which is expected to meet the needs of tens of thousands of actors in the food value chain throughout the year.

A greater Lagos is rising because evidence is plenty.

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