Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, federal minister of communications and digital economy, has called for the application of digital technology in agricultural production, describing it as a major stimulus that would help the country combat the challenges of hunger due to its increasing population.
Minister Pantami made the call in Gombe while delivering his keynote address at the commencement of a training expected to incorporate an additional 140 youth farmers into the National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA) program.
NAVSA is a digital platform developed to enable a highly productive agribusiness economy that will transform the agricultural sector in the country.
It is designed to support the agricultural sector through digital capabilities that help farmers and other agricultural ecosystem players navigate their journey across the agriculture value chain.
The minister stated that climate change and population explosion remain two of the most dangerous challenges confronting agriculture, while citing how Netherlands became the second-largest exporter of agricultural produce in the world despite its relatively small population and land mass.
“The model of agriculture being practised in the Netherlands reduces the consumption of water by 90 per cent, and it increases the quality of production by a minimum of 500 per cent. It also reduces the use of insecticide by a minimum of 99 per cent. Why? Because of the way they deployed modern technology in agriculture,” Pantami noted.
Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, director-general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), said that the initiative is part of the agency’s implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a digital Nigeria.
He added that the innovative program is meant to transform the agriculture business in Nigeria by making it a fancy and attractive investment for youths to create value and prosperity as well as to ensure increased food production.