Epe - The Federal Government (FG) under its Cassava Value Chain Programme on Tuesday distributed 25 000 bundles of cassava to 200 farmers in Lagos State for planting.
The bundles were given to the beneficiaries in collaboration with the Lagos State Government at an elaborate ceremony to flag off the programme in Epe.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Cassava Value Chain programme is a major component of the FG's Agriculture Transformation Agenda (ATA), designed to bring about cassava revolution in the country.
Dr Akinwunmi Adeshina, the Minister of Agriculture, told the occasion that the programme was part of government's strategies to boost food production and reduce food imports.
Represented by Mr Julius Adeyemi, a director in the ministry, Akinwunmi said about N460 million had been committed to the programme, aimed at supporting farmers nationwide to improve their yields.
He said the programme would also support the different enterprises involved in the whole cassava value chain and help to achieve government's cassava-for-wheat initiatives.
"This present administration is poised to improve the efficiency of willing farmers and other agriculture-based workers towards enhancing food production, as well as ensure food security.
"Food importation is a challenge to the economy, food security, job creation and national security. There is no going back. We are committed to ensuring food security in the country."
The minister lauded the various efforts made by the Lagos State Government to boost agriculture in the state.
In his address, Mr Gbolahan Lawal , the Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, commended the intervention of the FG, saying it would significantly boost cassava production in the state.
He said the event was another of the state's collaboration with the Federal Government to revamp the agricultural sector, under the Strategic Programme for Accelerated Agricultural Growth.
"The intervention will lead to investment opportunities that will ensure sustainable growth of agriculture and create more jobs in the state."