LASG gives 3000 Farmers access to Tractor Hailing Operation

LASG gives 3000 Farmers access to Tractor Hailing Operation
By Kathy Kyari
The Lagos State Government on Tuesday launched the Eko Agro Mechanization Scheme through which farmers will henceforth have access to state-wide tractor-hailing operations as part of measures to boost mechanized farming and ensure sufficiency in food production.
 Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya,while speaking at the launch which was held Agricultural Training institute,Araga,Epe, said the scheme marked another demonstrable evidence of the commitment of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration towards the growth of agriculture and attainment of food security.  
 Olusanya explained that through the scheme over 3,000 farmers would have access to modern mechanized farming equipment to efficiently and smoothly cultivate over 9,000 hectares of land, thereby giving a quantum leap to food production, among other economic benefits.  
“This approach to farm mechanisation called Tractor–On–The-Go (TOG) is accessed through an application known as TOGworld and is available for download on Google Playstore and IOS Store.
“Farmers from the comfort of their farms now have the opportunity of requesting tractors and their accompanying implements in a way similar to the Taxi hailing services via a Smartphone. As such, they now have access to agricultural machineries without being physically present at the tractor centres which makes the process both seamless and transparent.
“20 tractors, 12 ploughs, 10 harrows, 7 Tipping Trailers, 2 boom sprayers, and other equipment were procured to kick-start the scheme.  These shall be stationed in the three strategic agrarian zones of the State, namely Badagry, Ikorodu and Epe, and would serve different farming clusters,” Olusanya said.
She added that the Badagry Zone will serve Avia, Igborosun, Gayingbo, Gberefu, Ajara, Yafin, Itoga, Iworo, Ajido, and Mowo agrarian clusters, while Ikorodu Zone will serve Agbowa, Imota, Odogunyan, Gberigbe, Igbalu, Ijede, and Erikorodo.
According to the Commissioner, Epe Zone will serve Araga, Igboye, Igbodu, Itoikin, and Ejinrin respectively.
She noted that aside from increasing the production of food which should help lower prices and afford Lagosians a higher disposable income, the scheme would also provide a positive impact on the economic growth of the state by creating a means of livelihood for the unemployed.
“The job creation multiplier effect will easily reach 9,000 Lagosians and the optimal use of more areas of land within a short period of time will also minimize land-grabbing activities.
“For us, agriculture in Lagos State is indeed set for a new dawn. Our farmers, more than ever, can hope for increased yields, productivity, and more profits as they till more farmlands seamlessly through the Tractor-on-the-Go app,” Olusanya said.
Olusanya further informed that  the scheme was in furtherance of the 5-Year Agricultural and Food Systems Road Map developed for the state in 2021 to scale local food production from the present 20% of domestic food requirement to 40% in line with the objective to prepare ahead for the population growth of Lagos which has been projected to hit 30 million by 2030.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs. Olatokunbo Emokpae,earlier in her opening remarks said the primary goal of the Eko Agro Mechanisation scheme was to ensure unfettered access to farm mechanization services, especially for smallholder farmers via a cost-friendly approach.
She said tractor drivers were also exposed to various training to upgrade their skills in the operation and maintenance of the tractors and ancillary equipment for the scheme, just as she urged them to put the knowledge acquired during training into practice and ensure that the tractors and equipment are handled with extra care so as to deliver maximum benefits to farmers across the state.
“As a Ministry, we will not relent in our efforts to ensure the vision for a greater Lagos is achieved through the deployment of technology and mechanisation towards the promotion of food security.
“To all our farmers, the scheme being flagged off has been provided to serve as an avenue for you all to take advantage of the rare opportunity geared towards improving your farm productivity and income generation,” Emokpae said.

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