The Lagos State Government has described its yearly ‘Food Fest’ as a formidable platform that will continue to showcase and expand farmers and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to the world.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, stated this at a news conference to commemorate the 2023 Food Fest on Thursday in Lagos.
Olusanya said the food festival had also projected the image and rich culture of the state globally.
She said the state recorded about N40 million sales during the Food Fest in 2022, while N32 million was realised in 2021.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme for the 2023 festival is: “A Fusion of Flavours.’
The 2023 Food Fest has been slated for Dec. 10 at Muri-Okunola Park, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The commissioner said the programme would feature, food, drinks, dance, entertainment, family cooking competition as well as music performance from various artistes.
According to her, the Lagos Food Festival 2023 is an all-inclusive event that projects the diverse food industries of the state.
“The festival will provide the platform to showcase the diverse food needs, the ethnic groups and nationals in the state through the varieties of dishes.
“They include sea foods, meat, poultry, fresh farm products, organic groceries, dry foods, confectionary, pastries, drinks and ready to eat consumables that will be exhibited by vendors at the venue.
“It also connects various businesses involved in food production, processing and sales to a Lagos audience of food enthusiasts under an entertaining ambience.
“Over the years, the success story of the festival has attracted more participation from vendors in the food and entertainment industry, food enthusiasts and fun seekers in the state.
“The Lagos food will continue to create a platform for our farmers and SMEs in the food, drinks and entertainment industry to showcase their products and thrive.
“With testimonies of improved sales during the event and opportunities secured from the linkages after the festival,” she said.
The commissioner listed the objectives of the festival as to showcase Lagos food potential to the local and international markets and to stimulate investors’ interest in food business.
She added that it would develop networking, linkages among stakeholders and exchange information on products and services available in the global market.
“This festival will create direct and indirect jobs for value chain of actors and artisans engaged to set-up activities at the festival.
“During the 2022 food festival, a total of 12,100 guests were registered as participants and over N37million was recorded as transaction volume by the fish farmers, fishermen, fish processors, food and drinks vendors.
“Also, over 1,000 Lagos residents benefited directly from the event in form of artisans, loaders and packers, technicians for equipment setup, festival ground and stage design/setup, sanitation crew and security personnel.
“Others are transporters, support services and logistics, caterers and helpers, branding, printers and advertising, entertainers, master of ceremony, musicians, disc jockeys, stand-up comedians, event planners, rental companies and media outfits” she said.
The commissioner said the 2023 edition promises to be an exciting, entertaining and enlightening event that would leave a long lasting impression on participants and vendors.
She said the projected economic benefits of the food Festival include 1,500 direct and indirect job opportunities will be created within food through increased marketing opportunities by vendors.
“Others are setup and dismantling of equipment for the festival, technicians to operate equipment and other hands engaged to provide support services.
“Over 5,000 induced business linkages is expected to be established after the festival to supply fresh and processed food to consumers across the state.
“The festival will facilitate linkage of various agricultural supply chains to a market of Lagos food enthusiasts and feature side attractions that will teach and entertain participants in culinary experiences.
“The Lagos Food Festival 2023 promises to be an exciting, entertaining and enlightening event that will leave a long lasting impression in the minds of the participants as it had always done.
“I, therefore, use this opportunity to invite members of the public and their families to turn out en-masse on Dec. 10, 2023 at Muri-Okunola Park, Victoria Island for this year’s Lagos Food Festival and have a good time.
Dr Rotimi Fashola, the Special Adviser to Governor on Agriculture, thanked all the sponsors for believing and partnering with the Ministry of Agriculture to make the programme a reality.(NAN)