An open day summit designed to examine the contemporary agriculture outlook with emerging challenges and opportunities ends with a call on more participation in agric business in order to boost food production to meet rising demand.
Hon Adeniyi Saliu, Eredo Local Council Development Area Chairman said the call also becomes imperative in order to bridge the gap of unemployment in the country.
The epoch-making event was held at the premises of Varden Farms & Resort, Sala Village, Ikosi-Ejirin, Epe in Lagos.
Saliu, while welcoming participants to the occasion informed that the Farmers Open Day is an event organised to expose Farmers, enthusiasts and stakeholders in Agricultural Sector, to cutting edge technologies and capacity building in the Agriculture value chain from production, processing, storage, packaging and distribution of crops, fishery, livestock and poultry. It was also an avenue to highlight challenges facing local Farmers and identifying unique opportunities for value creation, Saliu emphasized.
He further charged the local Farmers who are ready to produce to the standard of Varden Farms to launch into Varden farms marketing opportunities.
Saliu stated that his government now have the data of Eredo Farmers, contact, business type among others. He stressed the need for solution platforms to Farmers at large.
Meanwhile panelists at the occasion discussed likely measures to improve on the identified agricultural challenges facing our local Farmers, as Hon. Hareter Oralusi, Director General, Nigeria Capital Development Fund, one of the panelists, charges youth to invest in Agriculture, insist that No Farmer, No Nation.
Hon. Toyin Suara, Honourable Commissioner for Agriculture Lagos State ably represented by Mr. Odofin Adesola, Coordinator Agric-Yes, commends the initiative of Hon. Saliu for bringing all major stakeholders in this sector together at a forum like this. He pointed that government was willing to massively invest in Agricultural Sector but are constraint by funds.
Hon. Dele Onabokun, a former commissioner for Housing, Lagos State, who was one of the participants minced no words in declaring his interest to invest in Agriculture.
Meanwhile, Mr. Lanre Howells, the Group Managing Director, Varden Farms with about 15 years entrepreneurial experience in his remarks emphasized that there was need for us to pay attention to what we consume as it has to do with our health. He enjoined local Farmers whose production c meets Standard Farm Production as required by Varden Farms to come forward as the farm is willing to partner with them in the area of marketing.
Panelists at the event include Hon. Hareter Babatunde Oralusi, Director General, Nigeria Capital Development Fund, Mr. Folarin Okelola, Technical Adviser, National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) and Ngozi Duru, Founder, My Lagos Farm. Also in attendance were Mr. Adefemi Adeniyi, Managing Director, Agromall Nigeria Limited, Mr. Tajudeen Azeez, CEO, Kongo Farmers Nigeria, and Mr. Friday Ocholi Ali of Dizengoff Nigeria.
Other guests at the event include Barr. Sesan Ogundeko, Permanent Secretary, LASIEC, Hon. Dele Onabokun, Former Commissioner for Housing, Lagos State, Alhaja Bankole Ramota, APC State Welfare Officer, Eredo LCDA Executive Committee led by the Vice Chairman, Hon. W. Taiwo, Legislative Members led by the Leader of the House, Hon. Lateef Okesanya, Lagos State FADAMA Coordinator, Eredo, Alhaja Folake Onabokun Olaide and a good number of Eredo and Ikosi-Ejirin Local Farmers, Varden Farms Staff among other registered participants.