Things are looking up for Agritech business in the country as the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy recently collaborated with Ekiti State Government on the National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA) empowerment programme for 140 farm business owners in the state.
The programme is specifically designed to give supports to the government and enhance job creation for the youth populace in the area of Agriculture in such an attractive manner that will encourage them while driving food sustenance and access to the international market.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami at the closing ceremony to end the adoption of the farmer in Ekiti State made it clear that a major index for success in the 4th Industrial revolution is digitization which must find its place in policy and strategy for meaningful growth and development.
According to him, the digital economy is the single most important driver of innovation, growth and competitiveness and that accounts for the Agritech inventions we are witnessing across the nation like never before.
‘Digitization has a proven impact on economy and society by reducing unemployment, improving quality of life, and boosting access to knowledge’ He said.
NAVSA is designed to support the Federal Government in its drive to create more jobs for the youthful population and attract them into agriculture, upscale food production, increase wealth and income of farmers and agric value chain players, improve food security, promote access to international food markets and host of other agricultural products.
The Minister highlighted that digitization has a proven impact on economy and society by reducing unemployment, improving quality of life, and boosting access to knowledge especially through Agritech innovations the country is recording in recent times.
The Minister added that It is transforming the world in almost every aspect of life during the last few decades. The access to the internet, increase of people using mobile phones, social media and other digital services changed the way people interact, communicate, learn and work in almost every country.
Pantami asserted that the potential benefits of digitizing the agro-food sector are convincing but it would require major transformations of farming systems, rural economies, communities and natural resource management.
“This is a challenge which requires a systematic, technology-driven and holistic approach to achieving the full potential and benefits.” He said.
“No doubt, Agritech is promoting Digital Innovation and Digital Entrepreneurship. Agriculture has been very significant to our economy as a nation and it continues to remain very relevant in our country.”, he asserted.
The Director-General of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, in his own remark made it clear that NITDA as an agency of government is totally committed to leveraging technology and digital culture to attract youths to embrace Agritech for meaningful contribution to the country’s GDP while placing Nigeria on the world map as a leading Nation in food security.
“Agritech is revolutionizing agriculture from promoting indoor vertical farming in the urban areas which use up to 70% less water than traditional farms to farm automation that automates crop or livestock production cycle using Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, autonomous tractors, drones and robotics innovation etc. to livestock farming technology that makes tracking and managing livestock data-driven and much easier to modern greenhouses that are techy and data-driven,” he asserted.
The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi represented by Dr Olabode Adeoyi, Hon. Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, said: “Agriculture is the next oil for the country, bringing about the creation of jobs, assuring citizens of food security in the country”.
“Digital Technology will enable you to do things at ease without stress, bringing about an increase in productivity, creating jobs, better performance and increase revenue”, he added.
Adeoyi further said that the expectation from this programme is to address issues of land management, use of digital technologies to drive Agriculture and changing the mindset of our youths, bringing out the various potentials embedded within them.
Commending the efforts of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and NITDA for the usual supports towards deepening the activities of Information Technology in the country, He urged participants to take the training programme seriously, simply because NAVSA has come to stay in the state with the motive to improve the agricultural sector of the state.
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