The federal government through National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), distributed smart agriculture materials to beneficiaries of the National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA) 5-Day Empowerment Programme which took place ar Al-Qalam University, Katsina, Katsina state.
Speaking during the closing ceremony on Friday, the Director General, NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa CCIE 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.
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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.”
“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.”
“This is evident in all digitised economic sectors of the world such as the Bank, financial services, media and entertainment among others. Undoubtedly, digitization of the economic sectors has proved to be the game changer for economic transformation across the globe.
He further said, “We all have it as a duty to ensure agriculture is practised as a business and not a way of life as usual. There is a need to modernise agricultural practices in the country. In view of this conviction and in line with its mandates of universal IT access and integration into every sector of the economy, NITDA has designed a digital technology and ecosystem-driven innovation to address most of our challenges in the agriculture sector.
He added that NESP takes agriculture as a mainstay for economic recovery, diversification, and job creation. The plan proposed a mass agriculture programme to bring 20,000 to 100,000 hectares of new farmland under cultivation in every State of the Federation.
According to Inuwa, the aim is to create 5 million job opportunities, directly and indirectly spanning the entire agricultural value chain, from ‘farm to table’. This can only be achieved by incentivising and engaging millions of Nigerians in farming and agro-processing.
“We have chosen to work with AUK in this edition of NAVSA because we are convinced that being a community-owned institutions, it possesses a unique advantage of a having a highly sustainable business model that can support the sustainability framework of NAVSA. We will be at advantage of having the opportunity to prove that community-based innovations are better ways of proffering solutions to our socio-economic challenges.”
“With the NAVSA, we also believe that unemployment, insecurity and the underdeveloped economy challenges we are facing today in Nigeria can be addressed through agriculture,” he concluded.