The director general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Abdullahi, has called for the creation of a vibrant and improved agricultural sector in Nigeria by adopting and leveraging digital technologies and innovations in agriculture.
Abdullahi asserted at a virtual review workshop on the National Digital Agriculture Strategy (NDAS) that building an effective digital agriculture industry has become imperative, particularly as the population of Nigeria continues to grow with a large demographic of young adults.
Representing Abdullahi, Vincent Olatunji, NITDA director of e-government development and regulation, noted that under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, the agency had developed the NDAS to build a strong digital agriculture sector.
Olatunji explained that digital technologies and innovations would facilitate new digital business models across the agricultural value chain, attract youths into the agricultural sector, create millions of jobs with increased productivity and improve the sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product.
Lukman Lamid of the NITDA’s e-government and regulations department, one of the workshop’s facilitators, explained that eight complementary initiatives have been designed for ministries, departments and agencies, among which are organizing agtech entrepreneurial training programs for start-ups, establishing a digital agriculture strategy and advisory forum and launching and promoting the Agtech Career Initiative.
Others include instituting a rural digital literacy initiative in agriculture, establishing agricultural digital innovation hubs for research and innovations and building a consortium on information and communications technologies for climate-smart agriculture platforms and gender inclusion in digital agriculture.
Lamid added that a platform for the Nigeria Digital Agriculture Community group will be created to include the NITDA, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, related federal public institutions, state governments and farmers.