The Lagos State Government on Tuesday assured farmers in the state of its continuous support to boost and create an enabling environment for optimum food production.
Mr Gbolahan Lawal, the Commissioner for Agriculture gave the assurance at a Farmers’ Forum organised by the ministry in commemoration of this year’s World Food Day.
The World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world on Oct. 16 in honour of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN in 1945.
Lawal said the government appreciated the myriad of problems farmers faced in the process of getting their produce to the consumers.
Lawal said the state government had consistently been creating an enabling environment for optimum food production.
The commissioner was represented by Dr Olayiwole Onasanya, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry.
He said that the essence of the Farmers’ Forum was to interact with stakeholders in the agriculture sector, especially farmers to get feedback from them about the various government’s interventions and complaints.
He said that the feedback would guide and help the government formulate and initiate new projects and programmes that would enhance agricultural development in the state.
Lawal said that agriculture could not be developed without the active participation and support of farmers hence the ‘bottom-up approach’ the state government was adopting.
“From our interactions with the farmers, key issues such as land encroachment, processing of produce, market for the produce, youth empowerment and technology have been identified to be the most pressing challenges confronting them,” he said.
Lawal said that 1,700 youths and women farmers had been assisted under the Agro Processing Productivity and Livelihood Enhancement Empowerment Support (APPEALS) project in the state.
He said that there was still a need to reach out to more farmers through what he referred to as technology and extension.
The commissioner reminded the farmers of the theme of 2019 World Food Day ‘Our Actions Are Our Future: Healthy Diet For a Zero Hunger World’ and urged them to ensure they produced nutritious more food for the public.
“The World Food Day is celebrated annually by the United Nations and Nigeria is no exception; in this year’s celebration, we will ensure that the theme is given the necessary attention it deserves.
“All the activities for the celebration are in line with the creation of a sustainable system of agriculture in Lagos state,” he said.