About 2,850 youths drawn at 50 youths per council, across all the 57 local governments and local council development areas in Lagos State, would participate in a mechanised training to be organised by the Lagos State Government in collaboration with Dizengoff, an agricultural tool-focused firm.
The Special Adviser on Communities and Communications Hon. Akeem Sulaimon disclosed this on Thursday, while flagging off the presentation and product exhibition on mechanised community agriculture workshop, organised by the government and Dizengoff at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa, Lagos.
The workshop would also train community agriculture desk officers and heads of agriculture departments in all the 57 local governments and local council development areas who will in turn enlighten the citizens at the grassroots and community levels on how to increase farm produce using mechanisation.
The move, Sulaimon said, was another demonstration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s commitment to economic prosperity, food security and job creation.
Sulaimon said the capacity building initiative which would be replicated across all the councils is aimed at large scale production of food to match the state’s population growth.
He held that the government is embarking on sensitisation of mechanised farming because globally, agricultural development is driven by mechanisation.
According to him, mechanisation would help optimise agricultural production, improve better living standards, reduce poverty, reduce rural/urban drift, and unemployment and youth restiveness at the grassroots.
He said: “The training would sensitise and empower the HODs of Agric and social services as well as agriculture desk officers in all the 57 LGA/LCDAs in mechanised based agricultural developments who will inturn enlighten the citizens at the grassroots and community levels for the improvement of local production.
Sulaimon said the mechanised community agriculture training which would cover four areas such as agricultural machineries and implements, green house, irrigation agrochemicals and consumables, would help strengthen collaboration with all its stakeholders.
He said in its determination to promote massive involvement in agriculture, the state has facilitated the establishment of greenhouse at its vegetable farm in Isheri to complement the production of leafy vegetables in the open field system adding that about five tons of habanero pepper is being cultivated in the farm.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Community Affairs Alhaji Tajudeen Quadri praised the governor for continued support for all the 3900 CDAs in the state, said the mechanisation is another milestone in the governor’s effort to promote community agriculture.
“This is another milestone in the governor’s effort to promote community agriculture by assisting community farmers in the new farming technology that would improve their farm produce,” Quadri said.
Dizengoff CEO/Country Manager Mr Antti Ritvonen said his company has a long history of collaboration especially on agriculture and the collaboration is another opportunity to deepen the state’s capacity at food security and job creation.
He praised the government for the initiative which according to him would improve agricultural yields across all the LGAs/LCDAs in the state.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs Fola Padonu expressed hope that the partnership would kick start agricultural revolution in community agriculture in the state.