The Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya said Nigeria’s quest for development and a prosperous economy would require making agriculture its backbone.
Speaking at the December edition of the Eko City Farmers’ Fair and Appreciation Day, Olusanya said economies like the Netherlands, US and even Europe as a great continent, started with farming, noting that farming is still the backbone of the economy.
“So why are we not placing our farmers on a pedestal? Why are we not giving our farmers that importance? Why are we not celebrating our farmers? We are showcasing them and say farmers, you deserve a space, and you deserve to be recognised.”
She lauded farmers for their contributions, hard work and vigour in ensuring that the food supply chain was not broken, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Olusanya explained that the agricultural sector deserved a lot of attention and has been getting such from the state government, noting that the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu intends to increase the attention going forward.
According to her, the year 2020 has been a special and peculiar one with the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world at large and the state being the epicenter of the COVID-19 activity in Nigeria, has made the sector the second most impacted after health by the pandemic.
The Commissioner pointed out that the Eko City Farmers Fair was intended to be a melting point for farmers to sell directly to consumers and for Lagosians to buy farm fresh products directly from stakeholders at farm gate prices, while shopping in a relaxing atmosphere.
She said: “We want people to come here with their kids to shop and for the kids to be happy as well. That is the essence of having a positive atmosphere.”
Dr. Yakub Bashorun emerged the best farmer of the year, Samuel Omitunde emerged as the most promising farmer of the year and Mrs. Sola Ogunleye emerged as the best woman in agriculture.