There are possibilities of partnership between the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), to use Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for development (ICT4D) in the Agricultural Sector and make access to digital technologies more equitable.
IFAD has made a proposal to NITDA during a visit by the Country Director, Mrs Dede Ekoue to the Director General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa, who during the visit restated the Agency’s commitment to ensure sustainable solutions for smallholder farmers in the country.
Inuwa said: “It is part of our mandate to improve National Food Security through Information Technology (I.T) because globally today, I.T is regarded as one of, if not the best tool(s) when it comes to enhancing productivity in Agriculture, as it is evident, how Smart Agriculture is really increasing food production around the world”.
He said that improve food productivity for subsistence farmers, would attract the youthful population to take up farming as a business, and would somewhat retire the narrative that ‘farming is an activity solely for people in suburbs or villages’.
Inuwa thanked for IFAD for the partnership request for the Agency to participate in its forthcoming policy dialogue, and explore other possible channels/areas to collaborate, noting the Agency’s readiness to come on board.
He added that it is NITDA’s culture to partner any individual, group or body that has a viable proposition targeted at adding value to Nigeria and Nigerians.
“It is not only about the policy dialogue, when you are done with that, like the last one we were part of, don’t forget to reach out to us during your capacity building plans because we can benefit from that as well, especially to update the knowledge of our teammates”
“The goal is to expand our horizons and we are already working with Abuja Technology Village to build all these technologies on the farmland we secured, so, this visit will definitely help us know how to go about that”, Inuwa said.
The Country Director, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Mrs Dede Ekoue said the visit was to strengthen the existing partnership and thank the Agency for its support at different times, particularly for the Multi-stakeholder Dialogue on ICT4D for smallholder farmers that was held in May, 2023.
Ekoue explained that the Dialogue helped the team undertake several activities, including capacity building, exchange of visits, among others.
“Now, we are going to have another policy dialogue to strengthen collaborations among all the institutions involved in extending all the digital solutions to smallholder farmers”.
“It is a very important meeting that demonstrates once again the leadership of NITDA in scaling up ICT4D and we are very pleased with to be having this discussion because it will aid us to straighten out some pillars and strategies for the benefit of smallholder farmers in Nigeria”, Ekoue stressed.
She expressed gratitude for NITDA DG’s assurances in granting IFAD’s collaboration requests which she said would assist in leveraging community of actors, as NITDA is not only supporting the course but also would mobilise the support of other key stakeholders, invariably, enabling smallholder farmers access digital solutions across board.