12th August, 2021
Lagos State Government will continue to come up with programmes that will benefit the youth in the Agric and other relevant sectors.
This pledge was made on Thursday, by the Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr Olusegun Dawodu, at the International Youth Day Celebration organized by the Ministry of Youth and Social Development at Ikeja.
Dawodu said that the Sanwo-Olu led administration is committed to empowering youths by collaborating with stakeholders in the Agric sector in addressing and facilitating issues related to land accessibility, financial services, accessibility to green jobs and the use of new technologies to develop knowledge, skills and talent of youth to further food security and nutrition, among others.
This, he said, became necessary following the revelation by the International Labour Organization (ILO) Agriculture that the youth do not seem to find the Agric sector attractive now or even in the future.
He says: “The youth see the traditional model of farming as crude, unprofitable and archaic. Rural areas lack the facilities that are offered in the urban areas and young people prefer white-collar jobs”.
“An agric sector that is transformed into a more stimulating environment with modern equipment, methods and reasonable returns would be more attractive to the youth.”
Speaking on the Theme of the event, “Transforming Foods Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health”, the Commissioner disclosed that it was considered in commemorating this year’s International Youth Day, to address that the success of the global effort will not be achieved without the meaningful participation of young people.
He, however, explained that the food system in the process and infrastructure involved in feeding a population such as growing, harvesting, processing, packaging, transportation, marketing, consumption, distribution and disposal of food and food-related items.
Dawodu emphasized that the global food system is facing several challenges created by climatic and non-climatic changes and these global changes can only be addressed by transitioning to sustainable food systems.
In his remark, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Dr Aina Ayoola, described the celebration of the International Youth Day as a clarion call to the society, especially the youth to contribute their quota in creating and sustaining an enabling economic and social environment in the state and the country in general.
He also revealed that the celebration serves as an avenue to bring the issues faced by the youth to the attention of the International communities and also celebrate the potential of youth as partners in our today’s global society.
Ayoola described the theme as very germane because as a developing nation, “we can hardly feed ourselves on our resources, hence the need for us to bring out ways we can sustain our food systems”, he disclosed.
This, he said, has been taken into consideration by the state government with great focus on how to achieve the sustainable development goals of poverty alleviation, social inclusion, diversity conversation and climate change, to mention but a few.
While delivering a lecture, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya said that agricultural activities have been stereotyped to be a dirty, non-lucrative and illiterate activity in this part of the world, forgetting that “You Must Eat”.
“Somebody must produce that food that will sustain you for the next 24hours. If you fail to get involved today, then you leave your future and the future of the generations after you in hunger. We must realize the need to begin to take action as quickly as possible.
“With Agriculture, you control the economy, leadership, people, and relationships with other countries. When you have what other people demand, you begin to have a say.
”So long that we are import-dependent, then we don’t have a say. Therefore, the future of this country is in our hands”, she added.
Olusanya disclosed that the Sanwo-Olu administration is youth and food-centric, as seen in the execution of projects ranging from the recently empowered 3,000 youth and women in the Agric Value Chain Enterprise Activation Programme, Lagos Agripreneurship Programme (LAPS), Agro-Processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Scheme (APPEALS), among others.
She implored the youth and other stakeholders to channel their energy and vibrancy towards agriculture while assuring the commitment of the government to continue liaising with donor agencies in actualizing the dream of an Agricultural centred state.
In his remark, Chairman National Youth Council of Nigeria, Lagos Chapter, Lekan Bilamin Oba appreciated the state government for ensuring that the youth constituency in the state is on a greater note, by always involving and empowering youth in their initiatives and projects.
He then advised the youth to tap into the opportunities that the government has made available in the agriculture sector and also venture on social media in getting opportunities for agricultural investments.