Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Toyin Suarau has reiterated the commitment of the State government to encourage fruit farming through the expansion of existing arable crops estates in Lagos.
Suarau made this known at a press briefing to commemorate the maiden edition of the International Fruit Day celebration in Lagos today, he noted that as part of efforts to encourage fruit farming and cultivation of crops and fruits in large scale, the State Government established vegetable estates at Agbowa and Iya-Afin, Ikosi-Ejirin both located at Ikorodu Local Government and Badagry Local Government Areas respectively.
He added that the land has been surveyed and allocated to interested individuals and organisations, stressing that this is in line with the vision of making the nation a foremost fruits export country in Africa, as well as creating job opportunities.
He explained that a two-day activity has been set aside to commemorate the maiden edition of the International Fruit Day celebration in Lagos, enunciating that the objective of the event is to celebrate the diversity of fruits and its health benefits and encourage green economy in the area of fruit farming to create partnership for economic development.
Suarau added that the two-day activities has been scheduled to hold on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd July, 2015 at the Ministry of Environment Garden, Mobolaji Johnson Avenue, Alausa-Ikeja, stressing that the theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Our Fruit, Our Wealth’.
“The State Government in conjunction with Fruitful Events has set a line of activities for the celebration, which will feature symposium, workshop, exhibition and competition sessions, where information, business relations and products information will be shared for mutual benefits,” he stated.
The Commissioner opined that the two-day event will come with a range of benefits that will include sensitization on the need for increase intake of fruits and vegetables to fight non-communicable diseases and other health related issues, as well as, help stakeholders intensify effort in fruits production in Lagos.
He posited that the symposium, workshop and exhibition are part of sensitization efforts for citizens to know the benefit of fruit farming emphasizing also that the commemoration of international fruit day celebration is a clarion call to people to know and partake in the investment opportunities the abound in fruit farming.
Suarau stated that Lagos is in the fore front in using technology to produce fruits and vegetables, stressing that the State introduced greenhouse technology as part of efforts to increase fruit production per hectare in its arable farms.
“I therefore encourage farmers and fruit marketers to use technology to ensure that fruit and vegetables are handled, preserved and transported in hygienic condition”, the Commissioner said.
While restating the commitment of the present administration towards the attainment of food security in partnership with every citizen, Suarau noted that the State government will continue to collaborate with any organization or individual directly or indirectly contributing to the achievement of food security and safety in Lagos State.
The Managing Director of Fruitful Events; Mrs. Arafat Apooyin, one of the collaborating partners of this year’s celebration stated that the basic objectives of the day is to celebrate the diversity of fruits in the country.
She added that adequate awareness for increased consumption of fruits for health benefits and employment opportunities available to youths through fruit farming and production are some of the other objectives for the commemoration.
Arafat noted that 50 fruit manufacturing company exhibitors are expected to participate in the two-day activities, stressing that this maiden edition will help create necessary awareness and increase public enthusiasm towards fruit farming, production and consumption.