The Lagos state government has announced that it will hold its rebranded Lagos Food Festival 2021 on December 12, to stimulate local and foreign investor interest in the food business.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya made the announcement at a news briefing, on Wednesday, in Lagos, to unveil the programme with the theme ‘A Taste of Lagos”.
Olusanya said that the 2021 Lagos Food Festival will hold at the Muri Okunola Park, Victoria Island, Lagos, with over 3,000 guests projected to attend and total sales of over ₦15 million expected by participating farmers, fishermen and processed seafoods.
She said that the rebranded food festival will project the various food offerings of the diverse socio-cultural groupings in the state, to local and international markets.
According to the commissioner, the Lagos food festival is an offshoot of the erstwhile annual Seafood festival at which the state celebrated its varieties of seafoods, spiced up with other exciting activities.
‘We have taken into cognisance other value chains where the state has comparative and competitive advantage.’
‘The Lagos food festival will help to stimulate investor interest in the food business, create direct and indirect jobs for value chain actors and artisans, while developing networks and linkages amongst stakeholders.’
Olusanya said the festival will create 150 direct and indirect jobs as a result of increased marketing opportunities, setting up and dismantling of equipment for the festival, technicians operating equipment, and other hands engaged to provide support services.
She also said that another 500 induced business links will be established following the festival, to supply fresh and processed seafoods.
The commissioner noted that the festival will feature a wide array of fresh products, organic groceries, dry food, confectionery, pastries, ready-to-eat consumables and drinks, in addition to seafood, meat and poultry.
‘The forthcoming Lagos food festival is a follow-up on the success story achieved by the implementation of five editions of the erstwhile Lagos Seafood Festival, held between 2012 and 2020.’
‘A total of 5,130 visitors participated in previous editions, with over 1,320 fish farmers and fishermen, which consisted of 900 fish processors and 64 seafood vendors at the events.’
‘A total of ₦32,984,000 was realised as volume of transactions during the five editions.’
‘Although, Lagos is a major player in the fisheries value chain, cognisance is being taken of the other agricultural value chains where the state has strong comparative and competitive advantage.’
‘Hence, the rebranding of the Lagos seafood festival to the Lagos food festival.’
‘The objectives of the festival are to showcase Lagos food potentials to local and international markets; to stimulate investors’ interest in the food business; and also to develop a network and linkages among stakeholders.’
‘It is to exchange information on products and services available in the global market as well as create direct and indirect jobs for the value chain actors and artisans engaged to set up activities at the festival.’
‘The festival will also facilitate the linkage of various agricultural supply chains to a market of Lagos food enthusiasts.’
‘It is, therefore, envisaged that synergistic relationships for the overall development of the food subsector will be initiated with fishermen, farmers and vendors for the regular supply of fish and fisheries products during and after the festival,’ she said.
Olusanya stated that apart from the wide array and exhibition of food products, there will also be culinary experiences such as food tastings, cooking master classes with renowned chefs, outdoor grills and thrilling entertainment.
The commissioner assured that the food festival will be exciting, entertaining and enlightening and that it will leave a long-lasting impression in the minds of visitors and participants.
She said the event is open to the general public and families to attend with their children, to enjoy entertainment, the biggest fish auction, musical performances, games corner, seafood pavilion, culinary competitions with celebrity chefs, as well as family cooking competitions among others.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK