Northern Nigerian Breaking News

NITDA to train 5,000 smart farmers in 10 yrs – DG

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), says it will engage 5,000 students of the Federal University Dutse (FUD) under the smart farmers scheme in the next 10 years.

Mr Kashufu Abdullahi, NITDA’s Director General, made this known at the closing ceremony of the programme on Friday in Dutse.

He said that the National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA) was designed in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s diversification agenda, especially on National Digital Economic Policy and Strategy (NDEPS).

“One of the critical sectors of the economy in Nigeria with a high potential for economic diversification is agriculture.

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“Agricultural sector contributed 26.84 per cent to overall Gross Domestic Product in real terms in Q4 2021.

“The sector grew by 3.58 per cent year-on-year in the same quarter,” the director general said through visual presentation at the closing.

Abdullahi noted that an average Nigerian farmer still makes use of primitive farm tools like hoes, cutlass among others.

According to him, this constitutes a major setback to productivity, food security, and the contribution of agriculture to the economic growth of the country.

“Also, access to markets is one of the biggest challenges faced by smallholder farmers which directly affects their income and living standards.

According to him, NAVSA is designed to transform agricultural sector by deploying digital technologies to attract youngsters into farming business for maximum productivity and wealth creation.

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The agency, he said, planned to produce next generation of agric enterprise millionaires through continuous adoption of the next batch and generation of students.

He said that about 5,000 students in FUD would benefited from additional 500, 000 direct and indirect jobs, adding that NAVSA will create win-win business models for ecosystem players with far-reaching network effects across agriculture value chain.

Abdullahi said that the agency would soon embarked on integration of emerging technologies like remote sensing, geospatial analysis, Artificial Intelligence (AI), big data analytics, blockchain among others.

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This, he said, would develop smart agriculture solutions to create new business models and opportunities across the agric value chain for the ecosystem players to boost economic growth and prosperity in the country.

“NAVSA will capture data from individual farms and fields, combine it in macro-level data sets, and utilize those sets in increasingly cost-effective ways.

“The use of technology to combat hunger and promote sustainable agriculture has profoundly received particular attention, perhaps more than any other development issue in the last two decades.

“NAVSA since inception attracted key players in the agricultural ecosystem in line with global best practices.

“The untapped potentials of Nigerian farmers is currently being unfolded as the federal government through Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy NAVSA Smart agriculture to change the face of agric sector in the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NITDA in concert with some agricultural institutions empowered 100 best students at the occasion. (NAN)

NITDA Smart farmers

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