Commerce and industry aside, even with the thrust on being an agrarian economy, Lagos city and state face shortages in meeting their demand for food. At present, Lagos is said to produce roughly 20-24% of its food requirements. Anticipating a significant growth in population by 2030, the state faces an immediate and urgent need to increase local food production.
In order to boost food security and increase access to fresh affordable food in metropolitan Lagos, the Lagos State Agricultural Development Authority is urging residents to adopt urban farming practices. Through this initiative, the government hopes to encourage and educate residents in overcoming the challenges of space availability while growing food locally within their buildings and community compounds.
Government communications encourage the use waste buckets, bags and tires to be filled with soil for growing food. Extra emphasis is being laid on even the smallest contributions made by individual households, towards reducing the strain on the overall market supply.
In interviews with local and international agencies, the State Commissioner for Agriculture Ms. Abisola Olusanya shares that she sees urban farming as an important component of a city’s food systems for its potential to nourish households and communities, create economic opportunities, and foster the growth of small businesses.
The Lagos government also recognizes the need to emphasize on the economic, environmental and social benefits of urban farming. Change in policy with respect to food and nutrition is driven by a need to holistically tackle malnutrition, poverty and extreme hunger across all levels within Lagos State. The state also hopes to strengthen collaboration among its public and private sectors.
In its efforts towards making Lagos a sustainable smart house, the Lagos State government is partnering with the Netherlands government. Netherlands is Nigeria’s 4th largest importing partner and 3rd largest exporting partner. Nigeria’s search for feasible farming solutions, modern farming practices and increased production of fruits and vegetables, will be met through Dutch innovation.