The Lagos State Government says it would continue to support youths and students’ engagements in different agricultural value chains in order to encourage them to grow into a more productive agricultural labour force as adults.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya stated this at the Schools’ Agric Quiz Competition for students of public senior secondary schools in the state as part of activities lined up to celebrate Y2021 World Food Day.
Ms Olusanya who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Hakeem Adeniji explained that by so doing, the problem of unemployment and vacuums being created by the ageing farmers as well as mitigating the possible effects of global food crisis would be solved.
She stressed that the vision of her Ministry is to enhance sustainable food security through youths and women empowerment with significant private sector involvement.
According to her, this vision explained the focus of the Lagos State Development Plan in Agriculture which is to move the present local food production from 18% to 40% of the State’s food demand by Y2025 in order to match the continuous increase in the State’s population.
“The Ministry of Agriculture has been providing different platforms for youth engagement through training and capacity building under various projects and programmes in different agricultural value chains, thus, contributing to job creation, youth empowerment and poverty alleviation.
“Some of such programmes include the Summer School Programme, the Schools’ Agricultural Programme (SAP), Eko Schools’ Agricultural Comic and the Women and Youths Programme under the Agro-Processing, Productivity, Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project.
“Other are the Lagos Agripreneurship Programme (L.A.P.), the Cage and Pen Culture Programme and the Young Africa Works (YAW) Nigeria Programme in collaboration with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)/ Africa Projects Development Centre (APDC)/Mastercard Foundation among others,” the Commissioner said