The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) yesterday, disclosed that its smart farming digital platform, under the National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA), would engage 10 million farmers across the agricultural value-chain by the year 2032.
Deputy Manager, Department of Digital Economy, NITDA, Lukman Lamid, disclosed this at a capacity-building programme on NAVSA digital platform for students of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Ogun State.
According to Lamid, the platform is a mobile app, which is developed by NITDA and equipped with modern technology, such as smart irrigation and smart brooding system, virtual accounts and loan facilities, among others, for farmers.
“No fewer than 100 students of FUNAAB would be trained on the use of modern technologies for farmers at the five-day event,” he said.
He said at the end of the training, each beneficiary would be credited with an N100,000 loan in their virtual account as start up capital for their enterprise.
Lamid disclosed that the platform, which is still at the pilot stage, had engaged more than 600 farmers from Gombe, Jigawa, Ekiti and Ogun states.
He said that the NITDA would deploy digital technology and innovation to improve every process of agricultural practice, which would increase productivity and ensure maximum profit for farmers.
He attributed low food production by Nigerian farmers to the low adoption of mechanised farming and technology, saying: “Agriculture is the least digitised sector of the economy.”
Lamid lamented that most of the interventions in agriculture by the Federal Government and other financial institutions had failed to yield the desired results “because the majority of Nigerian farmers are yet to deploy technology in agricultural production.
He said: “We have discovered that there is low productivity in agriculture and we have also discovered that most of the interventions in agriculture are not yielding the desired results. We looked at all these as an agency to see what we can do differently as far as the agricultural sector is concerned.
“This project is conceived to use digital technology and innovation to improve every process of agricultural practice to increase productivity and at the same time ensure that there is maximum profit for farmers.”