Lagos ex-commissioner urges residents to embrace urban farming

Agboola Dabiri, a former commissioner for youth and social development in Lagos state, has urged residents of the state to embrace urban farming.

Mr Dabiri said this at an agriculture empowerment programme organised by members of Ajuwo Community Development Association in Surulere area of Lagos state, in collaboration with Africanfarmer Mogaji, on Sunday in Lagos.

According to him, embracing urban farming will increase and better their livelihood.

The empowerment programme is titled: “Farm and Profit”.

In his lecture titled, “Global Farming without Boundaries”, Mr Dabiri said that residents must begin to create space for farming in homes, balconies, compounds and garages.

The ex-commissioner noted that he started agribusiness as a young boy in the university because of his passion for food production and business.

He added that agriculture was a huge value chain that included production, processing, marketing, distribution, packaging and many more.

Mr Dabiri urged the residents to develop a passion for any of the value chains to better their lots.

According to him, agriculture has so many areas that they can explore, adding that they can grow vegetables, tubers and also rear animals.

“I don’t know the last time I bought lemon in Abuja. What I did was, I planted seeds in an old sack and that is what I have been using in my home.

“In Masha, here in Surulere, we have the biggest fruit farmers in Lagos. They are very organised and you can also join them by simply identifying where you belong.

“Also, in Surulere, we have one of the largest ram markets and I am a member because I also rear animals.

“You have to look at where you belong and explore all the potential in agriculture. During the last Ileya festival, I sold rams and I made profits, you too can do that. Agric is very profitable.

“I buy my ram myself; rear it myself and give it to my boys to sell during festival. I have already started rearing ram against the next festival.

“Residents of Surulere must come together and see how they can promote urban farming and contribute to the food self-sufficiency of the state,” he said.

Mr Dabiri advised the community development association and the local government council to start a Sunday market in Surulere, for residents to purchase farm produce at cheaper and affordable prices, as well as create a market platform for farmers.

He commended the chairman of Ajuwo CDA, Tunji Adebayo, for organising empowerment programmes for members of his association.

According to him, empowering the community is a lasting legacy that will outlive anybody.

“For you as an individual in the CDA or community, you have to think outside the box on how you can improve your life by leveraging agriculture.

“There is little that government can do, you must look at how to balance it. We all must try and start farming in bags or plastic containers. You can plant yams, vegetables, tomatoes, peppers and plantain.

“As great as America is, a lot of its citizens own private farms and gardens. They do that so that they can also contribute to food production and we can do that here too,” he said.


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