•Lagos State has surpassed implementation – FG, World Bank

•Marketers from Benin Republic, Togo now buy fish from Badagry, State Coordinator declares 

The World Bank and the Federal Government have commended Lagos State Government for its effective and efficient implementation of the Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement, and Livelihood Improvement Support, APPEALS Project in the State.

They said the Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration in Lagos State through APPEALS Project has surpassed some of the targets set as far as the implementation within the framework of the project to boost farmers’ productivity is concerned.

Speaking during the World Bank and Federal Government APPEALS Project 10th Implementation Support Mission field visit to Badagry, Lagos on Thursday, the Task Team Leader of the World Bank Mission to Lagos, Dr. Emmanuel Manievel Sene and National Project Coordinator, Mohammed Jobdi, hailed the Lagos APPEALS project’s commitment to farmers in the state.

Dr. Manievel Sene said the World Bank is satisfied with the reports of the activities of the Lagos APPEALS Project based on what they saw during the field visit.

He said: “For Lagos APPEALS Project, I want to congratulate them for what they did with the farmers and for organising a wonderful visit for us. Now we know exactly what is happening on the ground. Coming here we have seen what is happening on the ground.

In his address, the National Project Coordinator of APPEALS Project, Mohammed Jobdi, said Lagos has done very well in terms of implementation of the project by touching the lives of farmers in the state positively.

He said APPEALS Project has recorded many successes in the participating states, especially in Lagos State by using technologies and innovations to improve the productivity of farmers.

“Honestly, I think Lagos State has really done much and in terms of performance I will rate them as “satisfactory,” because we started the Implementation Support yesterday (Wednesday) with the desk review, and from the reports that we have gotten, they have even surpassed some of the targets set as far as the implementation is concerned within the framework of the project. Lagos State has done well in terms of implementation,” he said.

Also speaking, the State Project Coordinator of Lagos APPEALS Project, Mrs. Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo, said the field visit is to showcase to the World Bank and Federal Government what Lagos State has been able to do with regards to cage culture and other technologies for the increased productivity of the fish farmers in the State.

She disclosed that marketers come from Benin Republic and Togo to buy fish in Badagry, adding that with technologies and innovations provided for farmers by the APPEALS Project, Nigeria will soon be major exporter of fish.

The State Project Coordinator said Lagos APPEALS Project has supported fish farmers with canning technology, blast freezers, cold room, and aggregation centers, to improve their productivity.

She said: “Lagos APPEALS Project is only aligning with the Lagos State Government initiative. The Lagos State Government has propagated the cage culture and the cage culture is a technology that is already on shelve.

“With APPEALS Project, the adoption rate of cage culture technology is higher because of the support of the state government. Today you can see a lot of clusters in different parts of Lagos State supported by the APPEALS Project. Lagos State Government has supported a lot of women and youths with cage culture to empower them.”

She advised the farmers to utilise the support provided for them by APPEALS Project judiciously.

Speaking at the event, a beneficiary of the APPEALS Project and President of Lagos State Catfish and Allied Farmers Association (LASCAFAN), Mr. Sejiro Oke-Tojinu, said the project has contributed a 40 percent increase to their production, especially with the adoption of the cage culture.

He said APPEALS Project came when they needed it most, noting that about 60 percent of farmers in Lagos State were brought back to business by the project after the COVID pandemic which affected farmers negatively.

Oke-Tojinu said they are currently selling tilapia fish to the Benin Republic and Togo because of the technologies and innovations provided by the Lagos APPEALS Project in terms of cage culture, cold room and blast freezers, among others.

During the field visit, Lagos APPEALS Project beneficiaries in aquaculture, poultry, and rice production, praised the World Bank, Federal Government, and Lagos State Government for improving the productivity of farmers in Lagos State. They promised to make good use of all the support provided by the APPEALS Project.

The beneficiaries also called for an extension of the APPEALS Project for more people to benefit from the six-year project, which has impacted millions of Lagos residents, particularly farmers, directly and indirectly. 

APPEALS Project, which started in 2017 is expected to end this year, 2023. It was a World Bank-assisted programme supported by Federal Government and Lagos State Government.

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