The Lagos State Government has encouraged youths in the State to come into the agricultural space, urging them to capitalise and maximise the opportunities in Agriculture production, processing and marketing.

The Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Ruth Abisola Olusanya stated this when the Fellows of the Lateef Jakande Leadership Academy, as part of the Brown Bag series, came on a learning visit to the Ministry.

The Commissioner said, “The Lagos State Government believes that by creating the right ecosystem, more youths will enter the Agric space. It is one thing to be a ‘laptop farmer’, it is another thing to be a hands-on farmer. Thus the Ministry and its agencies aim to train 150,000 individuals in the industry. Currently, 51,000 have already been equipped with skills and knowledge”. 

She averred that Governor Sanwo-Olu has delivered in the Agric sector by ensuring that the visionary five-year plan is meticulously crafted to foster sustainability and support food security in the state, adding that the Eko Rice, which is the best in the country, will go along way to reduce the impact of galloping food inflation in the country and that was why the Imota Rice Mill, the largest of its kind in Africa was built.

“Most metrics that are used to measure inflation hardly use the price of any other staple but rice and that is the idea behind the construction of the first of its kind Imota Rice Mill to make rice not only available but affordable to Lagosians”, she stated.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture (Imota Rice Mill), Dr. Rotimi Fashola advised the Fellows on how to succeed in the public service through humility, diligence and dedication.

Fashola said, “I want to advise you to keep your eyes on the ball. Remain focused and don’t drop the ball. You must know how to work well within the Public and Civil Service to succeed in your efforts. And you can only do that by creating common goals, bringing down walls of stereotype and prejudice while prioritising human management”.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs. Tokunbo Emokpae, an astute administrator with over three decades of practical experience, advised the fellows further on the ethics and ethos of the Civil Service.

The Permanent Secretary said, “I joined the Civil Service in 1988 and I have learned that the relationship between a boss and subordinate is like that of a teacher-student relationship. Ultimately, it is about the experience you gather over time. Let your work speak for you, not your voice bearing in mind that you need lots of determination to succeed”.

Dr. Michael Ogunkoya, a fellow attached to the Ministry of Agriculture, noted the strengths and weaknesses of the Agricultural value chain in the State and gave practical tips on how the youths can profit from the Agriculture sector, urging the Fellows to be hungry for more.

Other top personalities at the Learning Series were the Executive Secretary, Lateef Jakande Leadership Academy, Mrs. Ayisat Agbaje; General Manager, Lagos State Coconut Development Authority, Mr. John-Oladapo Olakulehin; Mr. Emmanuel Audu, Director of Agriculture Training Institute; Director of  Fisheries Department, Ms. Daisi Osunkoya and Director of Planning, Mrs. Olajumoke Oyeniyi, others.

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