Lagos State Acting Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya today called on secondary school students in the State to grow into a more productive agricultural labour force as adults.
Olusanya made the call today in Lagos at the School Quiz Competition organised by her Ministry as part of activities marking the Y2020 World Food Day Celebration in Lagos State.
She explained that the call becomes imperative to solve the problem of unemployment, vacuums being created by the ageing farmers as well as mitigate the possible effects of the global food crisis.
The Acting Commissioner noted that the importance of the Agricultural Quiz Competition cannot be overemphasized as it aims to further stimulate the interest of students in Agriculture as a subject.
“I am sure that all the students here are aware of the huge potentials that exist in Nigeria’s Agricultural sector and the strategic position of the various stakeholders within the various agricultural value chains.
“Thus, the Ministry of Agriculture, through programmes such as this, intends to encourage the students to grow into a more productive agricultural labour force as adults thereby solving, to a reasonable extent, the problem of unemployment and vacuums being created by the ageing farmers, as well as, mitigating the possible effects of global food crisis.
“The importance of this Agricultural Quiz Competition cannot, therefore, be overemphasized as it aims to further stimulate the interest of students in Agriculture majorly by assisting them to recall and imbibe information on various aspects such as improved agricultural techniques and innovations,” Olusanya opined.
She pointed out that the State Government is committed to the attainment of sustainable food production, wealth and job creation through youth and women empowerment with significant private sector involvement adding that the State Development Plan in Agriculture is to move the present local food production from 18% to 25% of the State’s food demand by the year 2025.
“We desire to provide food security and an enabling environment for our people to have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and hygienic food to maintain a healthy life.
“We have to imbibe the lessons learnt from the dwindling return from oil to encourage the participation of everybody in agriculture so that most of our basic needs could be met locally and we would be independent of others to feed ourselves,” the Acting Commissioner explained.
She stressed that the need for adequate food supply and proper storage of food for times of emergencies cannot be overemphasized, a fact that has further been brought to bear by the current COVID-19 global pandemic.
The World Food Day is celebrated worldwide every year on the 16th of October to commemorate the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in 1945 hence the grand finale would be celebrated in the State on Friday, October 16th, 2020.
The Schools’ Quiz Competition was won by Ansarudeen Senior High School, Surulere while Ajara Senior Grammar School, Badagry came to second and Abibat Mogaji Millennium Secondary School, Dopemu came third.
Miss Mary Aluko of Comprehensive Senior High School, Ketu Alapere emerged the overall best student at the Competition.
The theme for this year’s World Food Day Celebration is “Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together”.