By Temitayo Ayetoto
A robust 2017 farming output, including positive outcomes from some unexpected farm produce, may have just opened up Lagos, the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria, to new agricultural opportunities for local and international investors.
The Lagos chapter of All Farmers Association said farming outputs across the state were robust in 2017, with harvests at the farmgate towering above expectations.
Femi Oke, who chairs the association, said farmers were elated by the huge results of the 2017 crop growing season, noting that the widespread participation of Lagosians, including civil servants, accounted for the significant progress.
He said the high yields from rice cultivation, for instance, led to a compelling reduction in the price of rice in the market as farmers cultivated large quantities at Badagry, Ikorodu and Epe areas of the state.
“Rice is doing well in the coastal areas of the state. Farmers, who planted rice in the coastal areas by the water, got better results,” he said.
Oke also noted that some farmers who planted vegetables and crops like cucumber and watermelon experienced high yields as well.
“Many farmers who planted cassava and other root crops admitted that their yields were great and tremendous. Farmers were surprised with the yields from their cucumber and watermelon cultivation because they never believed that such crops could survive and thrive in the southern part of the country. Cucumber and watermelon are usually planted in the North.
“We did not know such crops could survive in the south, but with some encouragement, farmers invested in their cultivation and they are happy with the positive results,” he said.
He expressed optimism that the 2018 farming season would be better, saying weather behaviour had so far been favourable.