The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has kicked off the National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA) pilot training programme for 50 Nigerian youth corps members as the agency pushes forward to build capacity in young people and enhance productivity in the agriculture sector through smart farming.
The youth corps members under the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) are benefitting from the NAVSA scheme through the ICT regulatory agency collaboration with Abuja Technology Village (ATV) and the National Centre for Artificial intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR).
At the opening ceremony of the training programme, the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi congratulating the participants who were selected from a pool of many applicants, challenged them to seize the laudable opportunity to be interested in ‘Agricpreneurship’ so as to effectively utilise the knowledge and skills gained from the training to create jobs and contribute their quota in ensuring increased productivity, profitability, food security and agriculture efficiency.
Abdullahi remarked that “being selected to participate is one thing, but showing commitment to the programme is of utmost importance, emphasised the fact that the training which is for a period of six months is transformational and is packaged to make them become self sufficient and job providers.” He was represented by the NITDA’s Acting Director, Digital Economy Development Department, Salisu Kaka.
He advised that creativity and innovative thinking must be applied to developing better ways of solving economic issues in the country, especially in the Agricultural sector.
The NITDA’s boss also noted that the initiative is part of the agency’s Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP-2021-2024) and expressed the belief that NITDA 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.
Sarah Obayojie of the Abuja Technology Village, reiterated the company’s resolve to tackle the lingering challenges bedeviling the agricultural sector through indigenous innovations and the application of technology.
Her words: “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 believe they will be entrepreneurs in pushing lucrative agric-tech business as smart farmers in their post NYSC years.