The Lagos state government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the South-West Agricultural Company (SWAgCo) on how to boost the production of rice to meet the paddy needed at the Imota Rice mill.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Dr. Oluwarotimi Fashola, disclosed that the partnership will enable SWAgCo to assist the Lagos State rice farmers in skill development and sundry capacities, enabling the state to produce 40 percent of the paddy needed at the state’s own rice mill in Imota.
SWAgCo is an Agricultural Investment Company, fully owned by Odua Investment Company Limited, a private holding company with shareholding by the south-western governments of Ondo, Ogun, Ekiti, Lagos, Oyo, and Osun States, with a GDP of over $80 billion.
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It was established to address key challenges faced in the expansion of agricultural lands in South West Nigeria and to transform underinvested agribusiness opportunities within Nigeria into institutional-grade investment operations by changing the landscape of agriculture and agriculture investment in Nigeria.
Fashola noted that his team and SWAgCO will be meeting with the rice farmers across various divisions of the state, stating that the state’s 500 hectares of land at Eggua, Ogun State, as well as other rice fields in the state, will also be utilized to achieve the goals, noting that the success of the pilot phase conducted in Badagry division with 100 hectares has given credence to the workability of SWAgCO’s partnership.
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The Managing Director and Team Lead of SWAgCO, Babajide Arowosafe, lauded the Lagos State Government over the Imota rice mill, adding that it will further give the food production efforts of the State significant mileage.
Arowosafe noted that Lagos stands out amongst other states as a result of Governor Sanwo-Olu’s passion for the rice value chain’s development and the unrivalled speed at which the state operates towards agricultural development.