By Jamiu Abubakar, Lagos
…calls for stakeholders’ support
Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal has urged stakeholders in the agricultural sector to come up with ideas and suggestions that would lead to improved productivity, profitability and sustainability of the food value chains in the State.
Lawal, who spoke in Lagos today at a press briefing in commemoration of this year’s World Food Day Celebration in the State, also reiterated the State Government’s commitment to food sufficiency as well as the consumption of wholesome and healthy food by Lagosians.
“You will recall that in early September, we had a Stakeholders’ Engagement Summit to examine the status of our agricultural value chain, identify the comparative advantage and come up a with a workable road map that will be implemented in the next four years. I am happy to report that the Summit was quite successful and indeed fruitful. I, therefore, implore all stakeholders in the agricultural sector to support the State Government by coming forward with ideas and suggestions that will lead to improved productivity, profitability and sustainability in the sector,” he said.
The Commissioner noted that the World Food Day is an event that has been earmarked for celebration by both the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and, as such, is an opportunity to showcase what his Ministry has been able to do to ensure food sufficiency and the encouragement of local food contents consumed in the State.
He lauded the Federal Government’s policy of discouraging food importation and promoting the consumption of local produce, stressing that the State Government aligns with this Federal Government policy, thus it has initiated strategies to promote local food production and consumption.
“Agriculture falls under the fourth pillar of the THEMES Agenda of the State Government because part of good governance is to ensure food sufficiency for the populace, not just food sufficiency but the consumption of wholesome and healthy food. Therefore the World Food Day is a platform to highlight the importance of food and the role being played by all Stakeholders,” he said.
According to Lawal, the theme of this year’s event which is “Our Actions are Our Future: Healthy Diets for a Zero Hunger World” is focused on the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as well as the fixing of problems associated with diet.
He added that this year’s World Food Day has been mapped out into a six-day event featuring a Road Walk, Agriculture Schools Quiz Competition, Ofada Rice Day, Farmers’ Forum and the Grand Finale on Wednesday, 16th October which will focus on the problems of food security, particularly in the State.