Benjamin Babine, Abuja
The National Information Technology Agency (NITDA) has in a move to digitize the agricultural sector, adopted 130 farmers to the National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA) program thereby providing Nigerian farmers with means to showcase their produce in the digital space.
The Director General Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi who disclosed this in a virtual event attended by many dignitaries explained that the project has been piloted in Jigawa State but will be initiated across all 774 Local Government Areas in the country.
He said that 130 farmers drawn from the 27 Local Governments of Jigawa state were trained and also provided with Smart Devices, Internet Connectivity, Seed Fund worth N100,000, and Certified Seed.
Abdullahi said that the goal of NAVSA is to build digital capabilities and innovations across agriculture value chains aimed to create massive jobs and improve the income and wealth of every ecosystem player. According to him, currently in Nigeria, agriculture hires about 70% of the workforce.
Abdullahi stated that, NAVSA is designed to take small scale farmers to commercial level using a performance-based approach. The project targets graduates (between the age of 20 to 35 years) with prerequisite knowledge to participate in AgricTech project.
He added that, NAVSA will enhance digital agriculture strategy, and support Federal Government policy by taking advantage of the growing youth population which constitutes over 50 per cent of the estimated 200 million population.
The Executive Governor of Jigawa State, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar who attended the ceremony virtually, appreciated the Minstry and NITDA for chosen Jigawa state to pilot the project which he said will alleviate poverty and make Jigawa farmers independent.
He also cautioned the beneficiaries against misuse of the materials and knowledge impacted on them. He maintained that the state in the last few years has produced a lot of millionaires through rice farming precisely.
The National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA) is part of the initiatives of the National Digital Economy policy and strategy launched and unveiled by President Muhammadu Buhari.