.. As FG reveals plans for the celebration for World Food Day
By Jimoh Babatunde
As Nigeria prepares to join the global Community to mark the World Food Day 2019 with the theme “Our Actions Are Our Future, Healthy Diets for A #ZeroHunger World” , Lagos State Government said it is willing to support and encourage young farmers particularly students of secondary schools in achieving food security for the State.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr.Olayiwole Onasanya, , disclosed this in Lagos yesterday, at the Agric School Quiz Competition organized by his Ministry as part of activities marking the Y2019 World Food Day celebration.
He noted that the need for food sufficiency informed the initiation of programmes such as the School Agricultural Programme (SAP), the Summer School Programme and Women and Youth Programme.
Onasanaya explained that the quiz completion was put together to open the consciousness of young minds to the profitability of agricultural business and capture their interest at an early age thereby raising their awareness on issues behind poverty and hunger and efforts to meet its challenges.
“This simply means that in order to eliminate hunger, we have to consciously employ strategies that will ensure food sufficiency, wholesome food consumption, improve productivity (yield), profitability and sustainability of the agricultural value chain.
“Our actions therefore can determine our food sufficiency and ability to even export agricultural products. We therefore encourage farming in secondary schools so that students can have the background knowledge while making career choices in farming,” Dr. Onasanya averred.
While commending the Federal Government for its commitment towards the encouragement of local agricultural production and farming, the Permanent Secretary urged the students to take advantage of this by embracing local farming.
“It is interesting to note that the theme of this year’s celebration is “Our Actions are our Future: Healthy Diets for a Zero Hunger World”. As students, you are not therefore too young to contribute meaningfully to the efforts of the State Government towards the attainment of food security,” Dr. Onasanya added.
Meanwhile, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and other relevant Development Partners and stakeholders have lined up activities which will officially kick off on 14th 0ctober 2019 with a Sensitization Walk to create public awareness on the need to ensure food security and demonstrate Government’s commitment, other activities slated for the 4- day event include: Schools Quiz Competition, Press Briefing, Symposium/Colloquium, Photo Exhibition, amongst others.
The celebration will culminate in an Agric Show/Exhibition on 16th October 2019 where Agricultural Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), National Agricultural Foundation of Nigeria (NAFN), Agro-dealers, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Community-Based Value Chain Operators, Youth/Women in Agriculture, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and other Stakeholders will converge at the Agric Show Ground, KM 28, Abuja-Keffi Express Way, to showcase and exhibit agricultural potentials and establish synergy with current realities in the sector.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono, Minister of State, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri, Permanent Secretary, Dr Mohammed Bello Umar, FAO Country Representative, Mr Suffyan Koroma, officials and delegates from Government/ Private Sector Organizations, Agencies and all Relevant Stakeholders are expected to grace the occasion.