The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr.Olayiwole Onasanya has asserted that the State Government is willing to support and encourage young farmers, particularly students of secondary schools, in order to achieve food security for the State.
Onasanya, who spoke in Lagos today at the Agric School Quiz Competition organised as part of activities marking the Y2019 World Food Day celebration in the State, noted that this goal informed the initiation of programmes such as the School Agricultural Programme (SAP), the Summer School Programme as well as the Women and Youth Programme.
He explained that the quiz competition was put together to open the consciousness of young minds to the profitability of agricultural business and capture their interest at an early age, thereby raising their awareness on issues behind poverty and hunger as well as efforts to meet confront the challenges.
“This simply means that in order to eliminate hunger, we have to consciously employ strategies that will ensure food sufficiency, wholesome food consumption, improve productivity (yield), profitability and sustainability of the agricultural value chain. Our actions, therefore, can determine our food sufficiency and ability to even export agricultural products. We, therefore, encourage farming in secondary schools so that students can have the background knowledge while making career choices in farming”, Dr. Onasanya averred.
While commending the Federal Government for its commitment towards the encouragement of local agricultural production and farming, the Permanent Secretary urged the students to take advantage of this by embracing local farming.
Encouraging students to take interest in helping achieve food sufficiency in the State, Onasanya said, “It is interesting to note that the theme of this year’s celebration is “Our Actions are our Future: Healthy Diets for a Zero Hunger World”. As students, you are not therefore too young to contribute meaningfully to the efforts of the State Government towards the attainment of food security”.