The Ogun State Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Hon. Bolu Owotomo has said that the promotion of sustainable agriculture and food security is crucial for the well-being and survival of the nation at large.
Owotomo stated this during a retreat organized for the management of the Ministry of Agriculture, with the theme; “Achieving Agriculture and Food Security in Ogun State: The Place of Public Servants”, held at Grand Inn & Suites, GRA, Ijebu 0de, Ogun State.
He said that the state government in line with federal government objectives has been encouraging dry season farming to ensure all year round planting, adding that the state has been able to reach out to 500 farmers within one week with input and other materials needed for dry season planting with support from the Federal Government, Development Partners and other stakeholders.
He also assured the residents of the state government readiness to produce more agricultural inputs to the markets, saying that efforts are on top of gear to encourage more youth engagement in agriculture through improvement on mechanized farming.
Owotomo said that the importance of agriculture cannot be overemphasized appealing to all stakeholders to contribute their quota towards achieving food security in the state, as he emphasized that the retreat would give more insight into the activities of the ministry and allow for cross fertilization of ideas.
Speaking on the theme, the resource person, Prof. Kolawole Adebayo advocated the need for inter-ministerial collaboration, especially between the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), for the food system to be sustainable.
He said leaders must demonstrate the prowess and tenacity to evolve thought that would drive economic sustainability and food security.
Prof. Adebayo highlighted factors undermining the attainment of economic, environmental and food security to include continuous strive for global domination by superpowers, multinationals, political instability and inconsistency in policy among others.
Delivering his keynote address at the retreat, the state Head of Service, Mr. Kolawole Fagbohun described the retreat as strategic, as it would afford every stakeholders the opportunity to evaluate the mode of operation and re-strategize for better performance in all critical areas, admonishing them to always think out of the box.
He maintained that the management staff have the responsibility of working directly with the public, to provide solutions to challenges facing the farming community.
In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Samuel Adeogun noted that agriculture was key in the ‘ISEYA’ mantra of the present administration, disclosed that there was a need to critically look at responsibilities of each departments and what they intend to put in place to ensure delivery of the mandate.
Adeogun stressed the need for team work among the various departments and units within the ministry, to achieve a common goal in the task to deliver the set target in the sector.
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, saying that all target set must be realistic and achievable.
Olabimitan added that knowledge gained by participants should be cascaded to operational officers in the Ministry, so as to obtain their input in setting targets.
Speaking on behalf of other participants, Mrs. Kehinde Jokotoye and Mr. Ibrahim Busi appreciated the leadership of the ministry for putting up such a programme, assuring that the outcome of the retreat would greatly make an impact and helps in achieving the state agricultural agenda.
Highlights of the retreat included presentation by various departments, Aerobic, health talk, medical check up among others.