Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has said food security will continue to receive priority and give adequate attention to reduce the cost of food commodities in the state.
Sanwo-Olu gave the assurance during the 2023 Lagos Food Festival, themed, “A Fusion of Flavours” at the Muri Okunola Park, Victoria Island, on Sunday in Lagos.
The Governor who was represented by his deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat said his administration would continue to be passionate about boosting the agricultural sector.
He noted that the sector had witnessed several initiatives and featured prominently in the THEMES Agenda of the state.
According to him, the food festival provided a platform for Small and Medium Enterprises in the agriculture and food sector to showcase the beauty of the state as well as network.
In his words: “The event is about young people mostly showing their talents making money so we cannot be a society, just sitting and complaining.
“We can see all these young people here today, they are doing various things, so they are looking inward to say how can we add value and be successful.
“That is what I see here, prosperity, ingenuity, innovation and the spirit of Lagos,” he said.
Former World Guinness Record holder, Chef Hilda Baci, was among the judges during the cooking competition.
Also speaking, Ms Abisola Olusanya, the State Commissioner for Agriculture, described 2023 as a very challenging period for the agricultural sector and the farmers.
Olusanya said the 2023 general elections, subsidy removal and the naira redesign policy of the Federal Government had a lot of negative effect on the performance of the sector.
A fish farmer, Mrs Falilat Oladimeji, a member of Eja Lonibu fishermen and women, Liverpool, Apapa area of the state, lauded the state government for providing such a platform for farmers and SMES.
Oladimeji however pleaded that the state government should increase support for fish farmers with boat and engine, fish dryer, fishing nets, freezer and cold room to boost productivity.
“The ministry gave us a free stand and opportunity and we want to appreciate them for what they have done for us.
“Fish is very expensive now because all the materials used for fishing are expensive, that is why we want the government to support us,” she added.
Meanwhile, the festival featured music, entertainment, cooking competition and dance.