Lagos Govt Partners IITA To Train Students On Modern Agriculture
The Lagos State government has partner IITA to train students on modern agriculture.
The Lagos State Government has partnered with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to equip students of public senior secondary schools in the state with requisite knowledge and skills for practical agriculture using modern techniques.
They said the sole aim is to catch the students young to make a career in agricultural activities and agro-allied services even while they’re still in school and consequently boosting food security, employment opportunities and diversification of the economy in the country.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, represented by the permanent secretary of the ministry, Mr Abolaji Abayomi and the Deputy Director-General, Partnership for Delivery, IITA, Mr Kenton Dashiell, who spoke virtually, gave this position separately on Friday at the final stage of the maiden edition of Start Them Early Programme (STEP) School Agri-Competition among the high school students in the state.
The competition, which was organised by the Innovative Youth in Agriculture (I-Youth) Project under the Youth in Agribusiness programme of IITA saw Destiny Edoro from Gbagada Senior Grammar School emerged as the overall winner while David Joshua from Comprehensive Senior High School Alapere and Asokere Misimau from Ajara Comprehensive Senior High School, Badagry took the second and third positions, respectively in the keenly contested quiz.
Speaking further, Mrs Folasade said the state government is very passionate about agribusiness, hence it huge investment in the study and promotion of agricultural science among students from the primary to tertiary schools,
She, however, commended IITA and other partnering organisations such as Mastercard Foundation for their efforts in sponsoring and supporting entrepreneurship in agricultural-related activities among students not only in Lagos State but across the country.
On his part, Mr Kenton Dashiell of IITA said there had been a big challenge over the years to have youths move into agriculture as many had moved to the urban areas looking for jobs and economic opportunities that do not even exist.
He promised that IITA as a non-for profit-making organisation would continue to support initiatives that will boost and promote youth involvement in agribusiness, saying part of such is the direction of the STEP school competition.
Giving insight into the programme, Executive Manager, I-Youth Project, Aline Mugisho, said the programme was meant to create dignify and fulfilling employment for the young people and expose them to technology, research and innovations that would enable them to effectively harness the opportunities in agribusiness of various types now and in future.
She said the organisation had five years time lag for the project with target of empowering about 9, 360 students from across 90 schools in Kano, Kaduna and Lagos States with the hope of extending it to other states of the federation in future.
She said all the beneficiaries are also being equipped with soft skills and assigned to mentors to make them more successful at work or in their businesses even now as students.
In her own remark, the state’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Abisola Olusanya, represented by the Director of Agriculture Services, Ayoade Abiola, said the programme would certainly redirect, re-engineer and encourage many more youths to venture into agriculture.
She said the Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project of the state government is one of the initiatives in this regard.
One of the beneficiaries, who is the overall winner of the quiz competition, Master Destiny Edoro, said he had already developed interest through the programme to become a big term farmer in future.
Meanwhile, while Edoro received a laptop, tablet, gold medal and trophy for winning the competition, his school got an agribusiness venture while the first and second runners-up and their schools were also rewarded for their efforts according to their performances.