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Agric Entrepreneur Encourages Organic Farming, Healthy Eating Habit at 2021 IYD Celebration

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of XtraLarge Farms, Ota, Ogun State, Mr Seyi Davies, has stressed the importance of embracing organic farming and healthy eating habits. He noted that food consumption has gone beyond the realm of just eating for satisfaction and maintaining health and wholeness.

Mr Davies made this known at a forum organized by the Covenant University Community Development Impact Initiative Committee (CU-CDIIC) and the University's Students Council to commemorate the 2021 International Youth Day. The event's theme was "Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health."

Mr Davies, represented by his wife, Farmer Moji Davies, said organic farming had become vital in transforming the food system, with over 38% of the nation's population down due to food-related ailments. He stated that the diseases, which resulted in liver and kidney problems, obesity etc., were mostly traceable to excessive toxic chemicals found in foods.

The XtraLarge Farms chief executive said the deployment of harmful chemical compounds to preserve the surplus harvest from pests and insects had exposed humanity to many ailments. "These high toxic substances stay a long time on the food items, and when consumed, they become lethal to the body, which is why there is a significant rise in cases of cancer around the world," he stated.

Mr Davies, who has a vision of raising a generation of passionate farmers, said it had become imperative that people became more sensitive towards what they consume. He challenged the youths to embrace organic farming as most foods at creation were good enough to take care of all our health and physical needs.

While declaring the event open, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Abiodun H. Adebayo, said the 2021 International Youth Day occasion was a proper time to sensitize the global community on food systems. He said it was a vital link in the various Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) enunciated by the United Nations and member states. He said this included eliminating hunger, all forms of malnutrition, poverty, and achieving good health and wellbeing while promoting environmental sustainability.

Professor Adebayo, represented by the Director, Vice-Chancellor's Office, Dr Omotayo Osibanjo, said the role of young people in proffering solutions to global issues and achieving sustainable development could not be underestimated. He said the youths could be the appropriate channel for raising awareness of the world's challenges and problems.

According to him, the world's population was projected to increase by 2 billion people in the next 30 years, and several stakeholders in global affairs had acknowledged that simply increasing the volume of healthier food production was insufficient to ensure the wellbeing of humans and the planet.

The Chair, Covenant University Community Development Impact Initiative Committee (CU-CDIIC), Dr Tayo George, said the committee had made it a duty to commemorate the year. She stated that the IYD was a vital platform to bring the youth on board any given initiative and tap into their areas of strength towards nation-building.

She appreciated the committee's event partners, such as Fruity Live, Wilson Lemonade, Dufil Foods, XtraLarge Farms, Hebron Drinks, CU Farms, and Canaan Oil, for their support in making the celebration a reality

This year's event had a panel session, where participants discussed topical issues tailored towards innovativeness in farming and the transformation of the food system. A cooking competition and a carnival-like atmosphere at the University's Cafeteria 1 will round off the 2021 celebration.

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