Lagos State government, yesterday, urged secondary school students in the state to grow into a more productive agricultural labour force as adults.
The state’s Acting Commissioner for Agriculture, Abisola Olusanya, stated this at the School Quiz Competition organised by her ministry as part of activities marking the 2020 World Food Day celebration in Lagos State.
She said that the call became imperative to solve the problem of unemployment, vacuum created by the ageing farmers as well as mitigate the possible effects of global food crisis.
Olusanya, who noted that the importance of the agricultural quiz competition could not be over-emphasized as it aims to further stimulate the interest of students in agriculture as a subject, said: “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.”
She said that the state government was 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 per cent to 25 per cent of the state’s food demand by year 2025.
“It is our 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 further said.