The State Acting Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya has urged 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 the State Ministry of Agriculture as part of activities marking the 2020 World Food Day Celebration in Lagos State.
She explained that the call became imperative because of the rampant unemployment, the vacuum being created by aged farmers, who are retiring from active farming, and the possible effects of the global food crisis.
The Acting Commissioner noted that the importance of the Agricultural Quiz Competition cannot be overemphasised as it aims to further stimulate the interest of students in Agriculture as a subject.
“The importance of this Agricultural Quiz Competition cannot, therefore, be overemphasised as it aims to further stimulate the interest of students in Agriculture 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.
“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 explained.
She stressed the need for adequate food supply and proper storage of food for emergencies is very important, noting that the COVID-19 pandemic reaffirmed the need for adequate reserves of food.
The World Food Day is celebrated worldwide every year on the 16th of October to commemorate the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (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 Ansar-ud-deen Senior High School, Surulere while Ajara Senior Grammar School, Badagry came 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. Our actions are our future”.