The National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, has canvassed for the adoption of digital technology and innovation to build a vibrant digital agriculture.
The NITDA Director General, Kashifu Inuwa, made the call during a virtual review workshop on National Digital Agriculture strategy, NDAS.
According to the director-general, who was represented by the Director e-Government Development and Regulation, Dr Vincent Olatunji, harnessing the technology becomes imperative as the population of Nigeria continues to grow with a large demographic of young adults.
Mr Inuwa hinted that NITDA, under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has developed the Nigeria Digital Agriculture Strategy to build a vibrant digital agriculture sector.
The sector, he said, leverages on digital technologies and innovations.
This, he said, has become Imperative as the population of Nigeria continues to grow with a large demographic of young adults, especially people migrating from the rural areas to the urban areas.
The Director General while speaking further, noted that leveraging digital technologies and innovations would attract a youthful population into the agricultural sector.
He added that it would also create new digital business models across the agriculture value chain, enable millions of jobs, increase productivity and increase the contribution of the sector to Gross Domestic Product.
“I believe it will make Nigeria a leading country in food security and exporter of standard agricultural products to the rest of the world,” he said.
Mr Inuwa recalled that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had identified agriculture as a key frontier in addressing the economic and unemployment challenges in the country.
He added that the Federal Government had promised to leverage on it to take 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2030.
The DG reiterated that these promises are also part of the Minister’s directives to the agencies under the supervision of the ministry.
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that NITDA had developed a programme to support the achievement of the Ministry’s mandates and this could be seen as one of the visions of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy called the Nigeria Smart Initiative.
The DG, while acknowledging the development said it would facilitate the integration of digital technologies and innovations in every sector of the economy with the aim of unlocking inherent potentials and opportunities.
He added that it would help in enabling and optimizing each sector substantially for economic diversification and contribution to GDP.
One of the facilitators at the workshop Lukman Lamid of the NITDA’s eGovernment Department and Regulations explained that eight complementary initiatives have been designed for NDAS.
These include: Organise Agtech Entrepreneurial training programs for startups, establishing Digital Agriculture, Strategy and Advisory Forum, establishing and promoting Agtech Career Initiative.
Others include establishing rural digital literacy initiative in Agriculture, establish agricultural digital innovation hubs for research and innovations, build consortium on ICT for climate-smart agriculture platforms and gender inclusion in digital agriculture
Speaking further, Mr. Lamid said a platform for the Nigeria Digital Agriculture Community group would be created to include NITDA, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Related Federal Public Institutions, State Governments and Farmers.