The Lagos State Government has extended hands of participation on marketing and distribution of its local rice ‘LAKE Rice’ to shopping malls and supermarkets in the State.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Oluwatoyin Suarau gave this indication after a meeting with the representatives of shopping malls and supermarkets in the state.
”Government in its all-inclusive system of governance extended the hands of participation to the high earns markets to ensure wider distribution and availability of the product to residents,” Commissioner said.
He emphasised that ”the ultimate goal of the State government on production and marketing of LAKE rice was to stop the importation of rice and ensure that only locally produced rice is consumed by residents.”
The commissioner however assured the representatives of the shopping malls and supermarkets that the State would not relent in ensuring that the product maintains its quality and wholesomeness.
He explained that the product always go through different quality analysis assessment before being released to the market for consumption.
“Our LAKE Rice is of good quality. The major difference between LAKE Rice and imported rice is that the imported has a minimum storage of five to six years storage lifespan, but LAKE Rice is fresh and wholesome,” he stated.
The government has promised to ensure continuous availability of rice as food production and self-sufficiency have been given priority attention at State’s policy and strategic levels.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on food security Mr. Ganiyu Okanlawon said that the government would go into a memorandum of understanding with the stakeholders of the supermarkets to ensure that the product would not be adulterated or passed off in another brand’s name.
He noted that a breach of the fundamental terms in the agreement between both parties would impose a maximum sanction.
Mr. Okanlawon stated that the government has put in place various measures to protect the price and avoid adulteration so that the aim of the government in the even distribution of the product would not be defeated.
The Lagos State government has constituted a committee which would strictly monitor the product in the market.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Olayiwole Onasanya explained that production of LAKE Rice was targeted towards promoting the distribution of locally produced rice and to ensure that the state becomes a food secured place.
He noted that the government would maintain the original price of N12,000 for 50kg and N6000 for 25kg but would offer a discounted commission to shopping malls and supermarkets to sell at the officially approved price and still make their gains.
The representative of Eko Farmers Mart, Surulere, Mr. Ibukunoluwa Olu-Jacobs applauded the government for co-opting high earn market in the distribution of LAKE Rice.
He added that the government should be applauded for not just distributing the rice but also for fair distribution irrespective of class.