The Lagos State government has reaffirmed its commitment to supporting the participation of youth and students in various agricultural value chains to encourage them to be more productive in agriculture as adults.
Ms Abisola Olusanya, Commissioner for Agriculture, said this on Thursday at the public secondary school students’ Schools’ Agric Quiz Competition in Lagos as part of the state’s activities to celebrate World Food Day 2021.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Hakeem Adeniji, Ms Abisola stated that the Youth Support Initiative will solve the unemployment challenge and fill the vacuum created by ageing farmers, as well as reduce the effects of the food crisis.
She stressed that the vision of the ministry is to maintain food security through the empowerment of youth and women with meaningful participation from the private sector.
In her view, this vision is in line with the focus of the Lagos State Agricultural Development Plan, which is to increase current local food production from 18% to 40% of food demand by 2025 to meet the continued increase in the State’s population.
The Commissioner noted that the Ministry of Agriculture provided various platforms for youth participation through training and capacity building via various projects and programmes in several agricultural value chains, job creation, empowerment of youth and poverty alleviation.
She said: “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.
“Others 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 stated.