Achieving sustainable agriculture and food security is crucial for the well-being and survival of communities and nations.
Ogun State Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Hon. Bolu Owotomo, stated this during a retreat organised for the management staff of the Ministry, with the theme, “Achieving Agriculture and Food Security in Ogun State: The Place of Public Servants”, at Ijebu-Ode, saying the platform would give more insight into the activities of the Ministry and allow cross-fertilization of ideas.
Hon. Owotomo said the present administration, in line with federal government’s objectives, encouraged dry season farming to ensure all-year planting, adding that the state with support from the federal government, Development Partners and other stakeholders, was able to reach out to 500 farmers within one week, with inputs and other materials, needed for dry season planting.
He disclosed that efforts were on to encourage more youth engagement in agriculture through mechanised farming, appealing to all stakeholders to contribute towards achieving food security in the state.
Speaking on the theme, the resource person, Prof. Kolawole Adebayo, advocated the need for inter-ministerial collaboration between Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for a sustainable food system.
Highlighting factors undermining the attainment of economic, environmental and food security to include, striving for global domination by super powers and multinationals, political instability, as well as policy inconsistency among others, Prof Adebayo called on leaders to evolve initiatives that would drive economic sustainability and food security.
Contributing, the state Head of Service, Mr Kola Fagbohun, described the retreat as strategic, as it would allow every stakeholder to evaluate the mode of operation and re-strategize for better performance in all critical areas, maintaining that the management staff had the responsibility of working directly with the public, to provide solutions to challenges facing the farming community and admonished them to think out of the box.
On his part, the Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Mr Olaolu Olabimitan, represented by the Chief Estimate Officer, Mr. Musibau Elemide, advised that whatever decision taken must be in tandem with the overall vision of the state agricultural policy, realistic and achievable, just as knowledge gained by participants should be cascaded to operational officers in the Ministry to achieve desired goals.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Samuel Adeogun, noted that agriculture was key in the ISEYA mantra of the present administration, disclosing that there was need to critically look at responsibilities of each department and what they intend to put in place to ensure delivery of the mandate.
Speaking on behalf of other participants, Mrs. Kehinde Jokotoye and Mr. Ibrahim Busi, appreciated the leadership of the Ministry for the programme, expressing optimism that the outcome of the retreat would greatly assist in achieving the state agricultural agenda.
Highlights of the retreat included presentations by various departments, aerobics, health talk, medical check-ups among others.