LCCI, Lagos commit to agribusiness value-chain, food security
To address food security concerns, technology and stimulate youth participation in agricultural production to promote sufficiency in food supply, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and the Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, have called on economic managers to prioritise investment in the nation’s agribusiness value-chain.
This, they stated, would ensure that the value chain works effectively from farm to table while prioritizing the need for food security and food sufficiency in the country by involving youth participation to promote wealth and reduce social decadence.
Speaking at the 2021 LCCI Secondary School Essay Competition with the theme, ‘The Role of Agribusiness in Food Security and National Development’, the Commissioner for Agriculture Lagos State. Mrs. Abisola Olusanya charged youths on participation and involvement in agribusiness value-chain adding that this would create wealth and enhance better living standards of the economy.
She noted that the world is currently facing multiple problems of food scarcity, global warming, low crude oil prices and volatility of the exchange rate while stressing that Nigeria is not left out of this global crisis considering her position in crude oil exportation.
The commissioner hinted that the youth at present, constitute about 60 per cent of Nigeria’s population and have over the years made significant contributions to national development but unfortunately, the present environment, makes it more difficult to explore the full potential in agricultural production to stimulate youth participation in agriculture.
She noted that the potential of agriculture is embedded in different sectors adding that the participation of the youths across the value chain will actualize the Nigeria of our dreams.
“We must develop the capacity of our youths in agribusiness to generate income in commercially viable farming business ventures to ensure food Security, reduce social decadent, create wealth across the value chain and increase youth employment in the country through farming practices and agribusiness sector to boost and sustain youth interest in agricultural practices.
She, however, called on private sector participation for improved support to do more in business promotion and partnership to support the agricultural value-chain with the available resources.
Lending a Voice to the discourse, president, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mrs Toki Mabogunje said agribusiness sector is pivotal to harnessing the potential of economic development.
Mabogunje, who was represented by Vice president LCCI, Olusegun Osunkeye, said agribusiness encompasses farming-related commercial activities, adding that the sector plays a major role in developing the economy with sustainable economic growth.
According to her, agribusiness is a tool of sustainability and optimisation of processes adding that the sector supports transformational business growth as well as contributing to economic growth.
While addressing the role of agribusiness in food security and national development, LCCI Boss mentioned that reports from Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) affirmed that agribusiness is a key driver of sustainable economic growth while hinting that over 70% of the world’s food needs are met by small farmers such that agriculture alone employs 26.5% of the world’s workforce.
She observed that agribusiness sector employs the most people in the world while stating that it is the main source of food and income for many people living in poverty, therefore it is essential to many countries’ economic and national development.
She noted that the fifth series of the essay competition was geared towards developing the capacity of the average Nigerian child to understand economic issues, interrogate their intellectual minds, stimulate entrepreneurial instinct inherent in them, and enhance their contribution to national development.
She said the debate by the 10 best selected entries would further enlarge the scope and generate conversation as a veritable platform for creative thoughts and literary skills, adding that a total number of 30 schools out of over 250 invited, participated in this year’s competition.
Continuing, she charged the youths to revel in learning and to value it as a key step towards addressing functional education in our country while calling on public and private sector players as well as concerned citizens to wake up and not to rest on their oars to reinvigorate the reading culture in our children.
Winners emerged from the essay competition with Ayomide Tomi of Dansol High School emerging first winning a cash prize of N500,000, Rhema Olusanya emerged second, winning N400,000 and Ayomikun Adeyinka won N150,000 for the third position.