Emmanuel Kehinde, ilorin
Kwara State Government on Thursday assured youths in the state of its continuous support to agricultural sector to ensure food security and achieve zero hunger in the state.
“Kwara State Government places high premium on agricultural sector with a special attention on women and youth in the sector,” the Deputy Governor Kayode Alabi stated this in Ilorin when he received some youths under the aegis of Kwara Agricultural Network who embarked on awareness rally on Zero Hunger Kwara Project.
Alabi, who was represented by the state commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Muritala Olanrewaju, said the tractorisation programme, the soon-to-be-unveiled agricultural masterplan and anchor borrower scheme of the state government are some of the initiatives to support the sector and achieve zero hunger in the state.
“The present administration has put in place Agricultural Masterplan which will be unveiled soon. This is the first time there will be a comprehensive masterplan for agriculture since the creation of the state. With this, Kwara State will be the next food basket of Nigeria.
Alabi urged other non-governmental organisations to support the state government in its drive to achieve zero hunger in the state.
Kwara Agricultural Network Convener Al-Mustapha Ibrahim explained that the Zero Hunger Kwara Project is in line with Goal 2 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Part of our activities is to have Kwara Food Summit tomorrow (Friday) and will unveil one of our projects which is Zero Hunger Kwara. It looks at promoting sustainable development goals through agriculture and engaging rural youths, community women and empowering them. That is why we are partnering with the Kwara State Government for total support to the agricultural sector.
For the Secretary Kwara Agricultural Network Alabi Aminullah, the campaign is to tackle food insecurity, food unavailability and malnutrition.
“We are in a state whereby people have a lot of money but they do not eat nutritious foods. So, we (youths) come together to enlighten the people about food security, food availability and food management. We are encouraging our people to always eat fruit, no matter how small it is,” he said.
“We want to feed Kwarans in the three senatorial districts. We are feeding 250 pupils in each senatorial district of Kwara State. Our programme is backed by the Kwara State Government, World Health Organisation (WHO) and other partners.
“The Network has acquired hectares of land in different locations to support youths interested in agriculture.”