BY: Chisom Ada
Young Nigerians have been challenged to come up with innovative ideas that will promote smart agriculture in the country.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami has emphasized on this need, stressing that smart agriculture is the means of diversifying the nation’s economy.
The minister made his position known recently while making his remarks virtually in the capacity as the Chief Host during the closing ceremony of the pilot NAVSA programme which took place in Jigawa State.
The Minister maintained that embracing smart agriculture in Nigeria and enhancing the capacity of farmers digitally will create millions of digital jobs and improve the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Pantami who was speaking recently at the empowerment of farmers under the National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA), stressed that the programme is part of the main policy of the National Digital Economy policy and strategy for a Digital Nigeria launched and unveiled by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said that the best way to improve the output in the agricultural sector in Nigeria is through the deployment of emerging technologies.
The Minister said, “today, the whole world is focusing more on skills rather than certificates”. Citing an example with china which has announced the intention of converting 600 universities to skill acquisition centres.
The Host Governor, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar also in attendance virtually appreciated the vision of the Minister for bringing the project to the state and promised to ensure its sustainability.
The Governor also called against beneficiaries selling or underutilizing materials and knowledge given to them to excel in life, maintaining that the state in the last few years has produced a lot of millionaires through rice farming precisely.
The Highlight of the day was the presentation of Smart Devices; Internet Connectivity; Seed Fund; and Certified Seed to the 130 farmers who received training on a series of digital skills.