The Lagos State Government has lauded farmers in the state for their hard work, vigour and contributions to sustaining food supply chain, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, gave the commendation on Sunday during the December edition of the Eko City Farmers’ Fair and Farmers’ Appreciation Day at Alausa, Ikeja.
Fifteen outstanding farmers were honoured with various awards for their contributions to food security at the ceremony.
The commissioner noted that the pandemic made the agricultural sector the second most impacted sector after health.
“We know what happened during the lockdown when people thought they were not going to get access to food but yet our farmers came through for us.
“Many thanks to you our dear farmers, you stood by us by ensuring that the food supply chain was not broken at any time. “It was stretched, yes, but with your efforts and God’s grace, it was not broken. What we are doing today is the least we can do to appreciate you,” Olusanya said.
The commissioner noted that the fair was intended to be a melting pot for farmers to sell directly to consumers and for Lagosians to buy farm fresh products directly at farm gate prices while shopping in a relaxing atmosphere.
She said that a lot of farmers lost their means of livelihoods almost to a point of no return with the swine flu that happened in the piggery value chain.
“Our poultry farmers are still under a lot of strain right now as they are not able to get poultry feed; fish farmers are also going on through a lot of stress with the cost of fish feed and our rice farmers as well.
Olusanya noted that farmers play a very important role in the economy of the country and deserved to be recognised as very key stakeholders.
“We need to understand that economics globally be it the Netherlands, US and even Europe as a great continent. They all started with farming and farming is still the backbone of the economy,” she added.
Among those honoured was Dr Yakub Bashorun, a former Permanent Secretary in the ministry, who emerged the Best Farmer of the Year 2020, while Mrs Sola Ogunleye won Best Woman in Agriculture.
Others were Segun Zebulu, Best Artisanal Fisherman and Olamipo Olubanjo, Best Vegetable Farmer.
Others include Mrs Mosunmola Olulade, Best Poultry Farmer, Mr Segun Atho, Best Rice Farmer, Mr Anu Adekoya, Best Piggery Farmer and KisFund Coconut won Best Coconut Processor, Mr Odelade Olufemi, Best Perishable Marketer.
Responding on behalf of the award recipients, Dr Bashorun commended the state government for the recognition and promised to do more to ensure food security in the state.
“We appreciate what the governor is doing for farmers and promise to work hard in 2021, there will not be famine in the land and farmers will continue to prosper,” he said.
Some residents also took the opportunity to shop for various food items like rice eggs, processors food and spices, livestock, red meat, palm oil, fresh fish, pepper, vegetables and fruits and many more.