The National Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has harped on the need for stakeholders in the agriculture sector to take advantage of digital innovations to boost its value chains.
According to the DG of the Agency, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi Nigeria has to build on the gains of the digital space to elevate the sector.
The DG made this known in a virtual workshop themed “The Review Workshop on National Digital Agriculture Strategy (NDAS)”.
NDAS is an initiative of NITDA in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Rural Development (FMARD) and under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMCDE).
The Strategy is targeted at building a vibrant digital agricultural sector that leverages digital technologies and innovations.
In Abdullahi’s remarks, the initiative has become “imperative as the population of Nigeria continues to grow with a large demography of young adults, especially people migrating from the rural areas to the urban areas”.
He was represented by the Director of eGovernment Development and Regulations, Dr. Vincent Olatunji.
The DG stated that digital innovation in the sector will attract a youthful population into the agricultural sector and create new digital business models across the agricultural value chains.
He said it will also enable millions of jobs to increase productivity in the sector and contribute more to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“I believe it will make Nigeria a leading country in food security and exporter of standard agricultural products to the rest of the world,” Abdullahi added.
Piggybacking on the mandate of the Federal Government to diversify the economy through agriculture, the DG said that NITDA was also working towards achieving this goal with digital technologies.
He revealed that NITDA has 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 (NSI).
Meanwhile, complementary initiatives have been designed for NDAS including AgTech Entrepreneurial Training Programs for Startups, Digital Agriculture Strategy and Advisory Forum; Establishment and Promotion of AgTech Career Initiative, as well as Rural digital Literacy Initiative in Agriculture.
Others include the Agricultural Digital Innovation Hubs for Research and Innovations, Consortium on ICT for Climate-Smart Agriculture Platforms and Gender Inclusion in Digital Agriculture.
The Agency also created a platform for the Nigeria Digital Agriculture Community group comprising of FMARD, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, State Governments, farmers, relevant institutions and stakeholders to make the programme a success.
NITDA is also set to host its monthly webinar series themed “Digital Technology to Improve Agriculture Value Chain: NAVSA’s Approach”. The event billed for Today, will kick-off at 11 am.
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