THE Lagos State government, through its Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Mr. Gbolahan Lawal, has disclosed that the country imports about N105billion worth of fish every year to meet up with the rising demand for the commodity.
At the annual Ministerial Press Briefing, held in Ikeja at the weekend, Lawal said the rising spate of importation had affected production of fish in the State.
He, however, stressed that the State remained committed to ensuring that the anomaly is corrected.
The State Government’s priority, he said, is to produce 1 million tonnes of fish annually in addition to other activities as an import substitution. The feat, according to Lawal, would be achieved through active participation of the private sector in the entire value chain.
Lawal identified agricultural credit delivery at farmer-friendly terms as one of the challenges that has continued to pose problem to farmers in the State.
This, he said, was the reason the State signed into the NIRSAL project initiated by the Central Bank of Nigeria in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to de-risk lending to the sector.
The State Government has also secured 50 hectares of land in Abuja from the Federal Government, which it intends to utilise in aggressive farming to complement the efforts of Lagos farmers in ensuring food security in the State.
The government opted to acquire lands outside the state for farming purposes because of the relative advantage and economic position to the country.