The National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture, NAVSA, of the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, has trained no fewer than 100 farmers on smart agriculture in Jigawa State.
The participants were trained on green energy-powered smart brooding to improve the survival rate of broilers, a smart irrigation system to support a year-long production, and a soil nutrient monitoring system to support information-driven farming on a demo land.
At the end of the program, the participants were also given smart devices with internet connectivity, N100,000 seed fund, alongside Capacity Building on AgTechpreneurship.
Other opportunities the training availed the participants with, including financial inclusion through digital wallets, access to NAVSA platform, Insurance & E-extension services; and Agriculture business model.
Speaking during the opening ceremony of the training on Friday at the Federal University Dutse, FUD, the Director-General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa, said the essence of the NAVSA is to shape and model the new generation of agriculturists to become smart farmers.
Another essence of the program, according to Mr. Inuwa, is to support the continued adoption of the next batch and generation of Farm Practical Year, FPY, students.
He said: “The continuous adoption and sustainability of the model are premised on the design of the system that ensures continuous reinvestment of the current capital and 25% profit at the end of each season by each adopted farmer or student.
“In the next ten years in FUD, more than five thousand (5,000) students would have benefited with possibilities of an additional 500, 000 direct and indirect jobs.
“This is only in FUD. NAVSA will create win-win business models for ecosystem players with far-reaching network effects to create values that never existed before across the agriculture value chain.
“In the coming years, we would start integrating emerging technologies such as remote sensing, geospatial analysis, Artificial Intelligence, Big data analytics, blockchain among others to develop smart agriculture solutions, that create new business models and opportunities across the agric value chain for the ecosystem players.
“This will, in no measure, boost the economic diversification, growth, and prosperity of the country.
Mr. Inuwa noted that the initiative was geared towards supporting President Muhammadu Buhari’s digital economy agenda and by extension the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, 1 and 2 of no poverty and zero hunger by 2030.
“To this end, I will like to appreciate the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami for his continuous support to ensure the digital economy is entrenched in every sector of the economy especially, the agriculture sector.
“I will also like to appreciate Prof. Abdulkarim Sabo Muhammad the Vice-Chancellor, FUD for providing support and necessary resources that make this happen,” Mr. Inuwa added.
At the end of the program, the participants commended NITDA and the Federal Government for the empowerment, promising to make good use of the knowledge gained and items given to them.