The National Information and Technology Development Agency, NITDA, in collaboration with the Jigawa State Government has commenced a 10-day smart agricultural training for 140 farmers on in the state.
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that the training which was flagged-off on Monday cuts across the 27 local governments in the state.
At the end of the program, the beneficiaries would be empowered with a laptop, N100,000 as well as working equipment, in a bid to improve agriculture in the state.
Speaking at the flag-off of the first innovation summit on digital ecosystem in Dutse, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali-Pantami said by using Digital Innovation, challenges of unemployment would be solved.
The minister, therefore, assured that the Federal Government would give all the necessary supports to the state government in order to successfully achieve these goals.
In his remarks, the NITDA Director-General, Kashifu Inuwa-Abdullahi, noted that Jigawa has a lot of potentials to offer in agriculture as the largest producer of many agricultural products in country.
He added that if Jigawa state could harness their potential wealth, the state stands a high chance of yielding more through agriculture than what Nigeria made from the oil and gas sector.
“Jigawa State has a lot of potentials in terms of agricultural resources. Jigawa is the largest producer of dates, hibiscus and gum Arabic in Nigeria, and largest producer of sesames in the whole of Africa.
“The state also stands third in rice production, and we are utilising less than 10% of our arable land.
“Recently, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Jigawa, Muhammadu Badaru Abubakar negotiated with stakeholders from Mexico to boost hibiscus production, which is a big plus for us as a nation.
“All these can be achieved through digital technologies; this is why we are building IT centres across the country.
“So far, we have established 18 IT community centres out of 27 local governments, and we will build in the remaining ones.
“This is to prepare our future generation and create job opportunities, not only government jobs, but for youths to become self-reliant.
“We are coming with strategy where the state government can provide enabling environment that will unlock opportunities.
“In some countries, government job is the last resort, because you will make more money in business than in government; you will have more time in your private business than government,” he concluded.
Speaking earlier, Governor Badaru Abubakar stressed his administration is entirely focused on agricultural activities, urging the summit to brings solutions in improving modern farming in the state.
The Governor added that it is only through critical thinking that the minds of Nigerian youths could be opened, so that they can look around their environment and see the opportunities around them that they can turn into business and create jobs.
He further said that the vision and focus is to bring world of innovations to the state, noting that oil economy is almost over because of what is happening around the globe.
He said: “Electric cars are on the rise, solar energy is becoming cheaper, wind energy becoming supportive, and the unknown fuel energy-drive currently ongoing can surely drop the demand of oil, and if this happens, national income will continue to decline and that will affect all the states of the Federation, including Jigawa.
“We have to look at the areas where we have competitiveness and see how best we can make our economy work through those areas. Like I have always said, we can achieve this largely in Agriculture. We have vast land and water for irrigation in Jigawa. We will continue to focus on how to develop Agriculture and its value chain.
“I want to challenge this Summit to see how best we can improve in what we are doing and how best we can create jobs around the value chains in Nigeria digitally.