Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, has urged farmers, particularly the youths, to take Agriculture as a business to transform from subsistence production to commercial and profitable business.
Lawal noted that several opportunities abound in the various agriculture value chains and, if properly explored, could yield substantial and sustainable income.
The Commissioner spoke in Lagos on Thursday at the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund Employment Summit 2020 on how employment could be generated through agriculture in the 21st Century.
He stressed that the critical role of agriculture in creating jobs, food sufficiency and sustainability of supply. Hence he advocated for the revival of agriculture as part of measures to generate jobs on a sustainable basis.
Lawal appealed to residents to take advantage of the identified potentials in agriculture, especially at this period when focus has shifted from oil as the major revenue earner for the nation.
According to him, the current statistics of local food production in Lagos, with a population of over 22 million, stands at 18% of the food demand which translates to the fact that over 80% of the food needs of Lagosians are provided from outside the State.
He noted that the gap, therefore, presents a window of opportunities which, if properly harnessed, could be a goldmine for the teeming youths and other players in the agricultural sphere.
Lawal conceded that the Government must lead the way by making farming attractive to young people through the provision of modern agricultural inputs, equipment, training, and other relevant infrastructure.
A situation that explains why the State Government is embarking on empowerment programmes such as the Lagos Agripreneurship Programme and the Lagos State Agricultural Youth Empowerment Scheme to train youths and women to become major stakeholders in the Agricultural sector.
The Commissioner, therefore, urged every major player in each of the agriculture value chains to encourage the teeming youth population to embrace and explore the various opportunities available in the sector.