The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has started the implementation of the National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture NAVSA by training 50 Nigerian Youth Corps Members in Abuja.
The smart farming training was done in collaboration with Abuja Technology Village (ATV) and the National Centre for Artificial intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR), stressing it is with the mandate of ensuring all sectors of the Nation’s economy are supported and driven by technology.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the training, the Director-General of NITDA, Mal. Kashifu Inuwa said the 50 corp members were selected from a pool of many applicants, challenging them to seize the laudable opportunity and be intentionally interested in Agricpreneurship.
Mal. Inuwa, who was represented by Agency’s Acting Director, Digital Economy Development Department, Engr Salisu Kaka, urged the participants to effectively utilise the knowledge and skills gained from the training to create jobs and contribute to their quota in ensuring increased productivity, profitability, food security and Agriculture efficiency.
The initiative is part of the Agency’s Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP-2021-2024) alongside it’s partners will scale up the initiative to accommodate more beneficiaries.
On his part, the National Coordinator of National Centre for Artificial intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR), Engr Garba Ya’u was of the opinion that to propel the Country towards the prosperity of Agriculture, their intrinsic intention to become Smart Farmers should translate to tangible innovative ideas in order to move the sector forward.
He revealed that as part of the pilot, Precision Agriculture will be introduced to the trainees. “In the long run, we want to make sure you would not just be Agriculturalists but Tech Agriculturalists” he said.
Ya’u further said, irrespective of their fields of study, the programme is open to all and sundry and encouraged them to be open-minded to the possibilities that await them.
The representative of the Abuja Technology Village, Sarah Obayojie reiterated the company’s resolve to tackle the lingering challenges bedeviling the Agricultural sector through indigenous innovations and the application of technology.
“I therefore charge you to use this opportunity to make a difference by participating in all the segments of the programme and be assured that this project will positively transform your lives”.
The beneficiaries who took turns to ask questions and got some clarity on the prospects of the training, expressed gratitude to NITDA for the project and affirmed their respective commitments to the cause which they described as timely.
They were hopeful that after their service year, apart from looking for white collar jobs, they would already have something lucrative to hold on to as SMART FARMERS.