The Lagos State Government has stated that the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration was working towards the deployment of technologies that would enable farmers farm all year round in order to achieve food security and self sufficiency in the state and Nigeria as a whole.
It explained that the initiative such that would encourage deployment of technology-based method to achieve an all year farming season to ensure that the state attains the desired sustainable agri-food systems.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Abisola Olusanya, noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the need for an urgent change of route for the attainable of food security and safety bearing in mind the changes and effects the pandemic has had on agriculture.
Addressing a press conference to herald the activities lined up for the celebration of Y2021 World Food Day in the state. the commissioner explained that 2021 has been an exceptional year with the world trying to recover from the COVID-19 global pandemic which ravaged the world last year.
According to him, suffice it to say that the food we eat and the way we eat it affect our health and that of our planet and in return, this has a direct impact on the way agri-food systems work.
“The theme of this year’s World Food Day Celebration is Our Actions are our Future: Better Production, Better Nutrition, a Better Environment and a Better Life. This year’s theme is indeed apt as its focuses on the efforts being made by the State Government in ensuring that a variety of sufficient, nutritious and safe foods are available at affordable prices to everyone. This is what makes a sustainable agri-food system.
“The way we produce and consume food exacts a heavy toll on our planet, putting unnecessary pressure on natural resources, the environment and climate. Food production often degrades or destroys natural habitats and contributes to species extinction.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined that an urgent change of route is needed. Reflecting on the pandemic and taking into cognizance the change and the effect it has had on Agriculture and our social life, this Administration, under the able leadership of our Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu is focusing intensely on the various technologies that will enable farmers to farm all year round and provide food security and safety in Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole, giving the sustainable agri-food systems needed by the State,” the commissioner opined.
She noted that presently the state produces about 20% of its total food demand leaving a gap of 80% to be imported from other states of the federation and other countries stressing that concerted efforts and increased investments in the agricultural sector are needed in order to improve food production, food security and supply in the state as well as bridge the gap.
The commissioner pointed out that new policies that would foster the sustainable production of affordable nutritious foods and promote farmers’ participation are been adopted with the expectation that the policies would promote equality and learning, drive innovation, boost rural incomes, offer safety nets to smallholder farmers and build climate resistance.
She added that multiple linkages between areas affecting food systems including health, education, energy, finance, social protection among other would also be reconsidered with a view to making solutions fit together.
The commissioner listed activities that have been lined up for the celebration in the State as including a Road Walk/Sensitization on Friday, 8th October; an Interactive Farmers’ Forum on Tuesday, 12th October; Ofada Rice Day Symposium on Wednesday, 13th October; School Agric Quiz Competition slated for Thursday, 14th October and the grand finale on Saturday, 16th October, 2021.