Agric revolution; LASG targets youth, takes campaign to schools

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By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos.
Lagos State Government is targeting youths in its efforts to promote sustainable agricultural revolution by taking the awareness campaign to schools.
Capacity building in agriculture, especially the introduction of cage culture system in riverine areas, is among the strategies the state government is adopting as its new agric policy.
The government believes that with intensive training and skill acquisition programme which it has designed, this mind-broadening initiative will stimulate the interest of young people in all the value chains in agriculture.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Toyin Suarau, disclosed these modalities for this project recently when he visited the Epe Local Government camp of the Agric Summer School Programme for secondary school students.
He said:  “Government introduced the Agric-Yes Summer School programme to provide secondary school students with the technical skills through on-farm practical teaching and field demonstration.”
Suarau asserted that the two-week intensive training programme would empower students and make them see agriculture as money making business, and not as subsistent or degrading occupation for the less-previleged people as being perceived in some quarters.
While at the site of the Cage Culture System in Agbowa-Ikosi community, Suarau explained that the government introduced the system in riverine communities to empower the youths and promote fish farming.
Satisfied with the enthusiasm exhibited by the youths in the community, the agric commissioner retorted that “a lot of youths in riverine communities have shown interest in the initiative.”
He pointed out that in Agbowa, 60 participants were undergoing training on how to make floating cages, nets and fish farming right on the natural water bodies.
“This system,” he stressed, “will save them the cost of pond construction, stress of changing water and sorting because the fishes will be in their natural environment.
At the end of the four-month training, the fresh graduates would do their first harvest, after which government would empower them to begin to earn a living from the new occupation.
At Eko Rice Mill in Imota, Poka Epe, Mr. Sanni Okanlawon, Special Adviser to the governor on food security said, the government will explore every area that will contribute to increasing yield of farm produce in the state.
“In spite of the global climate change which constitutes a challenge to food security, Lagos State Government will leave no stone unturned to address these challenges, promote food security and encourage investment in agriculture,” the special adviser stated.
He explained that this was part of the reasons why his office was created.

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