By Haidar M. Aliyu, Dutse
About 130 farmers drawn from 27 Local Government Areas of Jigawa state were trained and provided with Smart Devices, Internet Connectivity, certified seed Fund worth N100,000.
The program was organized by the National Information Technology Agency (NITDA), under the supervision of Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, as part of determination to ditilized agricultural sector and will avail farmers with means to showcase to their farm produce in the digital world market.
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami while delivering his address during the official closing ceremony of the event that was held both physically and virtually in Dutse, said that there is need to come up with innovative ideas that will promote smart agriculture in Nigeria as a means of diversifying the nation’s economy, adding that Nigeria is blessed with a large fertile landmass.
The Minister noted that the National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA) is part of the main policy of the National Digital Economy policy and strategy for a Digital Nigeria launched and unveiled by President Muhammadu Buhari, said the best way to improve the output in the agricultural sector in Nigeria is through the deployment of emerging technologies.
Also speaking at the event, The Director General of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi said that the goal of NAVSA is to build digital capabilities and innovations across agriculture value chains aimed at creating massive jobs and improve the income and wealth of every ecosystem player, added that currently in Nigeria, agriculture hires about 70% of the workforce.
His words:- “NITDA inconjucton with Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy conceived the idea of introducing digital platform for farmers, in order to carry them along in Digital Economy journey spearheaded by the Minister, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami”.
Kashifu explained that, NAVSA is designed to take small scale farmers to commercial level using a performance-based approach, pointed out that the project targets graduates (between the age of 20 to 35 years) with prerequisite knowledge to participate in AgricTech project.
He explained that, NAVSA will enhance digital agriculture strategy, and support Federal Government policy by taking advantage of the growing youth population which constitutes over 50 per cent of the estimated 200 million population; farmers owned an estimated 82 million hectares of arable land.