The Lagos State Government has affirmed that it has subsidised the production of LAKE Rice product to the tune of N1, 049,140,395 from December 2016 till date.
Oluwatoyin Suarau, Commissioner for Agriculture in the state made this known on Thursday during the ministerial press briefing of the Ministry of Agriculture to commemorate the third year in office of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, Ikeja.
According to him, the subsidy was made possible as part of efforts aimed at sustaining food sufficiency and food security in the state, adding that LAKE Rice sold at a highly subsidized rate of N12, 000 per bag of 50kg, has helped crashed the skyrocketing price of rice in the country.
He said, “Lagos State government has subsidized LAKE Rice with N1, 049, 140, 395. This is targeted towards ensuring food sustainability and food security in the state and as an end result, making LAKE rice a national brand”.
Speaking further Suarau stated that the subsidy includes the cost of transportation, bagging and difference in the cost price of the rice from other brands.
He added that a total of 150 marketers and other ancillary service providers have been empowered through the sales of LAKE Rice.
Suarau explains further that in an effort to ensure continuous supply of LAKE rice in the state, the government has completed arrangement to establish a 32 tons per hour rice mill at Imota, stressing that an agreement has been signed with Buhler AG, a leading rice mill manufacturer in the world, for acquisition of the equipment.
According to him, it is projected that when completed the mill will produce an estimated 130million Kg of processed rice per year (an equivalent of 2.6million 50kg bags of rice) and facilitate the creation of 274,000 jobs across the value chain.
He noted that the establishment of the state-of-the-art rice mill will serve as a platform for Lagos to partner with the other South-West States aside from the existing collaboration with Kebbi State.
Suarau said that the present administration has since inception embarked on agricultural policies and programmes aimed at enhancing food security in the state and has made a lot of deliberate efforts to enhance agriculture with the introduction of programmes in Vegetable farming, poultry, cassava farming and various forms of agro-processing programmes to the youths.
He opined that the commitment of the state government towards the attainment of food security depends largely on the cooperation of every resident of the state, stressing that food security and hygienic environment occupies the front burner of the present administration’s plans to facilitate job and wealth creation as well as reduce poverty in the state.