The plan of the Nigerian Government to improve agricultural development across of the is impacting community farmers in norther Nigeria with about five million jobs expected to be created as more farmers embraced smart technology in farming.
Recently, through National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), distributed smart agriculture materials to beneficiaries of the National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA) at the 5-Day Empowerment Programme which took place at Al-Qalam University, Katsina, Katsina State.
NAVSA Programme is designed to accelerate massive job creation, economic diversification and growth, facilitate the integration of digital technologies and innovations in the agriculture processes and practices in order to significantly increase productivity, improve food security, ensure an eco-friendly agricultural practice, attract potential talents and youths into agriculture professions to maximise outcomes.
The Federal Government improved green energy-powered smart brooding to enhance the survival rate of broilers, a smart irrigation system to support a year-long production, and a soil nutrient monitoring system to support information-driven farming on a demo land.
This is in addition to other benefits such as: Smart Device, 100,000 Naira seed fund, AgTech training/capacity Building, Connectivity (Internet and CUG), NAVSA Platform, Financial inclusion through digital wallets, e-Extension and insurance services, Continuous reinvestment model opportunities and Unmanned Area Vehicle (UAV)/Drone for smart farm.
The Director General of NITDA, Mr Kashifu Inuwa who was represented by Ag. Director, Digital Economy Development of the Agency, Engr. Salisu Kaka, stated that, “Agriculture remains one of the critical sectors of Nigeria’s economy. This is evident in the policies of the current administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR. Every economic, developmental and social policy gives agriculture priority.”
Inuwa said the NAVSA Empowerment will enhance agriculture value chain, create new value and opportunities through new business models and services, and ultimately enable the creation of millions of jobs while taking the people out of poverty and enabling economic growth and diversification.
“With our potential in arable land size and youthful population, modernizing the agricultural sector can change the narrative and multiply the contribution of the sector to the national GDP in many folds. Unfortunately, the sector is the least digitized in the country. It has been proved that any digitized business has the potential to grow exponentially.”
“We hold a social contract to ensure IT drives every aspect of life and contributes to every community and national development as a whole. In line with our mandates, we carry out digital technology-driven interventions in any industry and sector of the economy across the country.”