The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, says the Federal Government is committed to digitalising the agricultural sector in the country for food security.
Pantami gave the assurance at the inauguration of training for 140 farmers on digital farming, on Tuesday in Gombe.
It was reported that the programme was inaugurated by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) through the National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA) empowerment programme.
Pantami said that the requirements to succeed in the fourth industrial revolution necessitated digitalisation as the core of any nation’s developmental strategy.
The minister said that digitalisation had a proven impact on economy and society by reducing unemployment and improving quality of life as well as boosting access to knowledge.
He said that developed countries and even some African countries like Ghana and Kenya had been practising digital agriculture and had recorded huge successes.
“The ICT sector is a key enabler of every other sector. It is making other sectors more productive because there are so many models ICT is using to promote agriculture,” he said.
Pantami stated that the participants, drawn from across the state, would each go home with a smart device, fertiliser, pesticides and N100,000 cash, among other items.
He said that similar training had been done in Jigawa and Ekiti states, adding that the participants were all provided with similar facilities by the Federal Government.
The minister said that the training would be extended to other states to ensure that a significant number of people benefitted from it.
In his remarks, the NITDA Director-General, Dr Kashifu Abdullahi, said that leveraging on digital technology and innovations would attract youthful population in agriculture as well as create digital business models across the value chain.
Abdullahi said that the programme would create millions of jobs, increase productivity and contribute to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).
In addition, the director-general said that this would, in turn, make Nigeria a leading nation in food security and exporter of standard agricultural produce to the world.
He said that the programme was initiated to systematically attract farmers across the country and equip them with digital skills that would make Nigeria a leading nation in smart agriculture.
“The goal is to provide Nigerian farmers with means to showcase their farm produce in the digital world market,” he stressed.
In his goodwill message, the Vice-Chancellor of Gombe State University (GSU), Prof. Aliyu Elnafaty, commended NITDA for the initiative.
Elnafaty called on the agency to extend the gesture to members of the communities surrounding the university.
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