… Targets All Public Secondary Schools

The Lagos State Government has launched the Smart Aquaponics and Poultry System (SAP-Sys) Units in six colleges as part of efforts to promote school farming and expose students to modern agricultural skills and techniques.

Speaking at the handover ceremony of the six completed SAP-Sys units, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya said the development signaled another landmark feat in the history of the state to engender food security and stimulate the interest of the younger generation in farming.

She listed the beneficiaries of the first phase of the SAP-Sys Units, comprising solar-powered modern, innovative integrated farm technologies for rearing Aquaculture, Hydroponics and Poultry simultaneously, as the Lagos City Senior College, Sabo-Yaba; Igbobi College, Yaba and Omole Senior Grammar School, Ojodu.

Others are the Lagos State Model Junior Secondary School, Meiran, Agege; Anthony Village Senior Grammar School, Anthony; and Special Correctional Centre for Boys, Oregun.

According to the Commissioner, the SAP-Sys is a component of the Lagos Agric Scholars’ Programme (LASP) which was developed by the Ministry and approved by the State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to positively impact and empower the youth.      

Her words, “We are excited today to hand over this project to our schools. Specifically, the Lagos Agric Scholars’ Programme is a component of the Ministry’s Youth Empowerment Scheme designed to develop the interest of secondary school students in agriculture through exposure to modern agricultural skills”.

“Through this project, we are equipping students with sound practical knowledge of Agriculture as a complement to the theoretical aspect taught in the classroom in the short-term, whilst enhancing food production and security through active youth participation in agriculture, in the long run”, Olusanya said.

She recalled that the programme previously focused on establishing agricultural enterprise projects in poultry, aquaculture and vegetable production via the provision of agricultural inputs and equipment in selected senior secondary schools across the State, training Agricultural Science teachers on the management of the projects as well as monitoring the implementation in the participating schools.

“However, given the need to align the programme’s primary objective with emerging global needs for sustainable food production through innovative agricultural technology for active youth participation, the programme was relaunched in Y2021, with the Ministry upscaling the direction of implementation to the Smart Agri-Pyramid Systems (SAP-Sys) – a Solar Powered Smart Portable Integrated Hardware for rearing fish, poultry, and vegetable (Hydroponics) simultaneously”, Olusanya explained.

The Commissioner emphasised that the objectives of the project, among others, include stimulating students’ interest in agriculture through on-farm engagement, educational competitions, and agricultural enterprise development, as well as building students’ socio-emotional and technical skills in agriculture, agricultural technology, and adoption of latest global agricultural best practices within the school-agricultural ecosystem.

She added that the project also aims to resuscitate and re-brand the young farmers’ club known as the Lagos State Agricultural Scholars’ Club (LASGRICLUB) as a channel for students’ active engagement, while equally promoting the establishment and usage of sustainable modern agricultural projects and technology among Lagos Schools.

She said to ensure sustainability, agricultural extension officers will routinely monitor the farms every month and scale up the training of teachers and students by exposing them to modern techniques of farming, while there is also a plan to establish the farms in all public schools in the state.

Each of the beneficiary schools was provided with a unit of Smart Agri-Pyramid Systems (SAP-Sys) stocked with 400 fish juveniles, 50 Point of Lay Birds and planted vegetables (fruit and leafy) complemented with the provision of inputs for food production and micro-enterprise activation championed by students and regularly monitored by technical officers of the Ministry of Agriculture.

The Principals of the benefiting Colleges commended Governor Sanwo-Olu and the State Government, particularly the Ministry of Agriculture for the initiative, saying the project would go a long way in boosting agriculture production and stimulating the interest of students in farming.

The handover ceremony also witnessed a technical presentation on the Smart Aquaponics and Poultry System Units by Agrisiti Technical Consultants and an introduction of the students to the Eko School Agric Comic Series anchored by Corporate Farmers. 

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