The Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya has advocated a National Day to honour farmers for their achievements and contributions to food security and food sufficiency.She stated this during a-three-kilometres fitness/sensitization walk from Olowu in Ikeja down to the State Secretariat, Alausa as part of activities lined up for this year’s World Food Day coming up next week Sunday.
Ms Olusanya who pointed out that the current administration in Lagos state had been honouring farmers in the State since the COVID-19 lockdown, stressed the need for all Nigerians to respect and recognize farmers’ efforts, the back breaking work they do to ensure food security in the country.
“Our farmers deserve to be respected, they deserve to be awarded, and our farmers deserve to be recognized. I don’t think we understand what the farmers do for us, the back breaking work that it takes for the farmer to actually produce that food and for that food to get to the market for you to buy it, prepare it, and feed yourself. Farmers go through a lot, if you look from farm to plate usually you will have nothing less than seven middlemen between the farmers and the final consumers. What usually happens is that the farmers make the least margin, and for that reason it is not so lucrative for them and for that as well it also becomes discouraging for them to continue in that line of work.She said.
“It takes a lot of effort, particularly as a government to continue to intensify, to continue to support and push our farmers to do what they do. Imagine if every farmer decided that they are going to leave that line of work and get into technology, telecommunication or into something else, there will be no food; but for these people to continue in this line of work, it means that they have persevered, they have weathered the storm and for that reason, the entire Nigeria nation should actually applaud the farmers”
Ms Olusanya who suggested that a day should be set aside to specially celebrate farmers, just as it’s being done for teachers, noted that Ghana is already doing this and that has been boosting the morale of Ghanaian farmers.
“It is a public holiday, a national day where the President recognizes the best of farmers in the whole of Ghana and for that reason when you see a Ghanaian farmer they will tell you that they are proud of their work. That is how Nigeria is supposed to take the farmers.Going forward that is what Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu is going to do on World Food Day, Sunday, October 16 at the Police College Ikeja to applaud our farmers, to appreciate them, to award them and to tell them that without them there will be no Lagos,” she stated.
Officials from all the Agencies in the Ministry of Agriculture, some farmers as well as sponsors of the event who joined in the awareness/fitness walk were refreshed with fresh coconut water provided by the Lagos State Coconut Development Authority, LASCODA.