The British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation (BATNF), has joined forces with the Lagos State Government to organise the Lagos Farm Fair in commemoration of the 2019 World Food Day.
The Fair is an initiative within the BATNF’s ‘Wealth is Here’ campaign that aimed to provide market access for farmers as well as an income-generating platform to encourage Agric-business development.
It equally provided opportunities for agropreneurs to showcase and sell their farm produce to the mammoth of crowd that graced the event. Raw agriculture produce on display included cows, pigs, fishes, cassava, all kinds of vegetables, rice, palm oil, plantain and pepper, amongst others.
Speaking at the programme, Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, identified the need to boost agricultural production and prevent post harvest losses to be able to fight poverty and hunger effectively.
Addressing the theme for this year’s World Food Day, ‘Our Actions, Our Future -Healthy Diets for a Zero Hunger World”’, Sanwo- Olu who was represented by the Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Mrs. Folashade Jaji, stated that the theme “speaks to the need for a collective action, towards not only increasing food production, but also ensuring that adequate attention is paid to the quality of food being consumed.”
“I am delighted to note that this theme aptly highlights this administration’s efforts through the food security initiative and our commitment to prevent the consumption of unwholesome food,“ he said.
Speaking in the same vein, Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, urged farmers to devise innovative solutions to confront climate change that has been a challenge to food security.
He added: “Part of good governance is to ensure food sufficiency for the populace. Not just food sufficiency but wholesome and healthy food.
The federal government’s policy is to discourage food importation and promote consumption of local produce.
The World Food Day is a platform to highlight the importance of food and the role being played by stakeholders.“
Equally, the Technical Committee Member of BATNF, Mr. Fatai Afolabi, restated the foundation’s commitment to promoting sustainable agro business.
“The Gross Domestic Product from agriculture increased from N3.5 million in Q1 2019 to over N3.8 million in Q2 2019, the sector can indeed perform better if farm produce were able to get to consumers at required time,otherwise, the product will rot away in storage.
“This factor has propelled us to collaborate with Lagos State and other sponsors to organise this fair to enable us close the huge gap between farmers and their market. By this, we are contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by fighting against poverty and hunger to ensure that no one is left behind”, he said.