Lagos State Government hopes to exceed the N1 billion revenue it recorded from agriculture last year and increase youth employment.
In the same vein, the government is strengthening its massive youth empowerment programme to uncover a path for young people to secure decent work opportunities and explore innovative e-business models in the agricultural sector.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, noted, speaking during a sensitisation meeting on the Lagos Agric Scholars’ Programme (LASP), youth employment in agriculture and agribusiness is a way of lifting a significant number of them out of unemployment and poverty.
The Commissioner, who spoke through the Permanent Secretary, Mr Hakeem Adeniji, said LASP was part of the programmes to develop and implement youth-in-agriculture initiatives and improve employment opportunities in the agricultural sector.
According to Olusanya, the programme will expose students to modern agricultural skills and farming methods, empowering them with sound practical knowledge of agriculture to complement the theoretical aspect being taught in the classroom.
The LASP programme is also expected to assist schools in generating income, ensuring food security, and mitigating possible effects of the global food crisis.
She explained that 158 agricultural projects established by SAP comprised of poultry, piggery, aquaculture, and vegetable production in 150 public secondary schools, Michael Otedola College of Primary Education ( MOCOPED), Noforija, Epe, as well as within the Girls’ Correctional Centre, Idi Arabs, Surulere.
“It is pertinent to inform this gathering that due to the skyrocketing cost of agricultural inputs for poultry, piggery and fish feed by approximately 170 percent was the major reason for focusing on new enterprise under the rebranded LASP programme.”
She continued that the governor’s approval has enabled the ministry to embark on new projects such as snailery, rabbitry, grasscutter, and goat rearing enterprise under LASP.
The Commissioner noted that the ministry has established 32 projects in more correction centres and selected public secondary schools within education districts 1,11, and VI. The projects, according to him, will be implemented as phase 1 in the early part of this year.
Another key activity she mentioned is capacity building training for Education Districts Desk Officers, Agricultural Science Teachers, and Correction Centre Instructors.
The Eko Schools Agricultural Comic, which was produced in collaboration with Corporate Farmers International (CFI) Limited, is a way of stimulating the teaching of pupils and students in public primary and secondary schools.