Lagos government to stimulate youth interest in agriculture

Luqmon Balogun, Lagos

Commissioner for Agriculture, Toyin Suarau

The Lagos State Government has promised to stimulate the interest of the youths in the Agriculture value chain, through intensive training and skill acquisition programmes.

The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Toyin Suarau made this known when he visited the camp of the Agric. Summer School programme organized for the Secondary School students in Epe local government area of the state.

Suarau said that “government introduced the Agric-Yes Summer School Programme to provide secondary school students with the technical skills through on-farm practical teaching and field demonstrations.”

He explained that the two weeks intensive training programme would empower students and make them see agriculture as a money-making business and not as subsistence as most people perceived it.

At the site of the Cage Culture System in Agbowa-Ikosi Community where a fish farming project is situated, Suarau told the journalists that the State government introduced the Cage Culture System in riverine communities for youth empowerment, stressing that a lot of youths in the communities have shown interest in the initiative.

“About sixty participants are currently undergoing training in Agowa on how to make floating cages, nets and fish farming right on the natural water bodies. This system will save them the cost of pond construction, stress of changing water and sorting because the fishes will be in their natural environment,’’ he added.

The Commissioner stressed that the participants would be trained for at least four months,  after which they were expected to do their first harvest, which will be followed by government empowerment.

Also speaking at the at Eko Rice Mill in Imota, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Food Security, Mr Sanni Okanlawon said “the present administration will continue to look into every area and possible initiatives that will contribute to increasing the yield of farm produce in the state”.

Okanlawon added that in spite of the global climate change which constitutes challenge to food security, the State Government would leave no stone unturned to address these challenges, promote food security and encourage investment in agriculture.

In separate interviews with Voice of Nigeria, some of the participants at the summer class applauded the initiative by the government to look into the area of food development in the state and promised to be good ambassadors of Agriculture in Nigeria.