ICT Critical To Agric Development, Says NITDA Boss
Director-general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Kashifu Inuwa, has said that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is critical to the agricultural sector because it can guarantee cash flow and serve as a major contributor to the nations’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Inuwa said this when he received the Co-Founder of Corporate Farmers International (CFI), Mr. Akinwale Alabi, and his team to the agency’s corporate headquarters in Abuja to seek possible areas of collaboration in smart agriculture.
According to a statement issued yesterday by the spokesperson of NITDA, Hadiza Umar Inuwa, noted that disruptive innovation using emerging technologies would create new markets and easy access to new products and services.
“There is a need to build these pieces of equipment locally by challenging our startups and tech gurus to come up with solutions to such problems. The agency has a Fab-Lab to check the product initiated through a proof-of-concept test. It then proceeds to the fabrication of the product to create a prototype for testing and then later mass production,” the DG added.
Inuwa further asserted that there is a need to create a value chain, adding that “creating a platform to bring the farmers, up takers, and financial institutions together to ease the purchase of goods and services without leaving your destination. Instead, all you need is to place a request on the platform, requesting the logistics company to pick up and deliver to the point of initiation.”
He said further that “NITDA launched the National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA) programme to boost the capacity of young Nigerian farmers in the digital world market. NAVSA seeks to digitally transform the agricultural economy of farmers and their business models across all value chains to increase productivity.”
The NAVSA pilot programme was launched at the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, (FUNAAB) Ogun State, with 100 young farmers and later at the Federal University of Duste (FUD), Jigawa State, to create jobs directly or indirectly in the country.
Inuwa stressed that the NITDA Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP) 2021 -2024 is a document crafted by the agency that contains the vision of developing Nigeria into a sustainable digital economy that is prosperous and driven by technology.
SRAP has been tailored to proactively facilitate the country’s transformation into a sustainable Digital Economy but requires an elaborate stakeholder collaboration in implementing the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria.
In his earlier remarks, Mr Akinwale Alabi, said the CFI is known for innovation around the agricultural ecosystem, building technologies, and rendering solutions for the system at large to boost production of agricultural produce.