The Lagos State Government has said it will help farmers address the issue of market accessibility through its sales event tagged “Eko City Farmers’ Fair and Appreciation Day”.
This December edition is slated for the 20th and will facilitate a town and gown synergy, as farmers will be opportune to sell their produce at gate prices to buyers.
State Commissioner for Agriculture, Abisola Olusanya disclosed recently, stating that the event was an offshoot of the collaborative efforts of Kebbi State and the Federal Government.
One of the highlights of the event, she added, will be the sale of 50kg bags of rice at N20,000 each.
According to her, about 100,000 bags will be sold to Lagosians, this festive season. She said the event will connect all key players in the value chain, with their corresponding markets.
Other objectives of the fair, Olusanya added, is to ensure the preservation of the nutritional value of food items, as well as see to the propagation of the “farm to fork” initiative of the state government.
“On Sunday, 20th December 2020, the State will be hosting the Christmas edition of the Eko City Farmers’ Fair, where Lagosians can shop for their fresh farm produce at affordable prices.
“The event, which will hold at the Ndubusi Kanu Park, Alausa, Ikeja, will also include a short ceremony to appreciate our farmers who have done everything in their power to ensure that we did not negatively feel the impacts of the coronavirus on our food supplies.
“It will also be a platform for the best of the city’s producers to meet with consumers and end-users using the traditional and innovative development methods to showcase a well organised high-quality market to meet the consumers’ increasing demand for farm produce,” she noted.
Olusanya further disclosed that the event will invariably address the issue of price hike, occasioned by barriers to market accessibility, experienced by farmers.
She, however, lamented the struggles of farmers in the state, as it relates to selling their produce, thus:
“Farmers in the state lack direct access to markets and this led to the selling of their produce to middlemen at ridiculous farm gate prices.
“Farmers that can penetrate the market find it difficult to break through cartels by the market associations.
“Therefore, they are forced to sell at the association dictated prices. These challenges have restricted many of the farmers to subsistent production”.