Youth and students that engage in different agricultural value chains have been assured of support in order to encourage them to become more productive as adults in the agriculture labour force.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, stated this at the Schools’ Agric Quiz Competition for students of public senior secondary schools in Lagos as part of activities lined up to celebrate 2021 World Food Day in the State.
Ms. Olusanya, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Hakeem Adeniji, explained that the youth support initiative will solve the problem of unemployment and vacuums being created by the ageing farmers, just as it would mitigate the possible effects of global food crisis.
She stressed that the vision of the Ministry is to sustain food security, through youth and women empowerment, with significant private sector involvement.
According to her, this vision is in tandem with the focus of the Lagos State Development Plan in Agriculture, which is to move the present local food production from 18% to 40% of food demand by 2025 in order to match the continuous increase in the State’s population.
She noted that the Ministry of Agriculture has been providing different platforms for youth engagement, through training and capacity building under various projects and programmes in different agricultural value chains, for job creation, youth empowerment and poverty alleviation.
“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”, the Commissioner noted.
“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,” she added.