William Attah, Gombe
Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isah Ali Pantami says Nigeria must embrace digital Agriculture if the country must address future hunger challenge.
He stated this at the commencement of a one week training and distribution of Smart devices, fertilizer, Pesticides, among other items and N100,000.00 to each of the trainees in Gombe State University, venue of the training.
The programme is under the National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA) empowerment programme which is to be implemented by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) with the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy supervising.
According to the Minister, the 140 participants were drawn across the state to participate in the training.
The Minister added that, many developed countries and even some African countries like Ghana and Kenya, have have embraced digital agriculture which has been yielding huge success through bumper harvest.
Pantami explained that digitalization has a proven impact on economy and society by reducing unemployment and improving the quality of life thereby boosting access to knowledge.
According to him, “ICT sector is a key enabler of every sector, it is making other sectors more productive because there were so many model ICT that is being used to promote Agriculture”.
He said similar training were done in Ekiti and Jigawa States adding that the Federal Government has provided all the facilities needed for the training stressing that the training will continue in other places to ensure significant number of people benefit.
Earlier In his welcome address Dr. Kashifu Abdullahi, Director General of NITDA said leveraging on digital technology and innovations will attract youthful population into Agriculture and create digital business models across the Agricultural value chain.
He said the programme will also enable millions of jobs, increase productivity as well as increase the contribution of Agriculture to the country’s GDP which will in turn make Nigeria a leading Nation in food security and exporter of standard Agricultural produce to the world.
He said the programme was initiated to systematically adopt farmers across the country by equipping them with digital skills that will make Nigeria a leading Nation in the Smart Agriculture.
“‘The goal is to provide Nigeria farmers with means to showcase their farm produce in the digital world market”, he said.
In his goodwill message, Professor Aliyu Elnafaty, Vice Chancellor, Gombe State University (GSU), commended NITDA for the wonderful initiative.
He called on NITDA to extend the gesture to members of the communities surrounding the University.
A tablet phone device provided to the young farmers, will be used to access a platform that has been created by NITDA where everything concerning the farm will be mapped.
Through this, crops, soil, weather, harvesting and many other technical procedures in the farm will be monitored and supervision carried out on the farmer and his farm.