Recently, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) announced plans to engage 5,000 students of Federal University Dutse (FUD) to become smart farmers in the next 10 years.
NITDA’s Director General, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi said this at the closing ceremony of the National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA) at the Federal University Dutse (FUD) in Dutse.
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Abdullahi said NAVSA was designed in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s policies on diversification agenda, especially on National Digital Economic Policy and Strategy (NDEPS).
‘’In the next ten years in FUD, more than 5,000 students would have benefited with possibilities of an additional 500, 000 direct and indirect jobs’’, the NITDA DG said.
He said one of the critical sectors of the economy in Nigeria with a high potential for economic diversification is agriculture. The sector contributed 26.84 per cent to overall GDP in real terms in Q4 2021, he added. The sector grew by 3.58 per cent (year-on-year) in the same quarter, the director general said.
But the DG expressed sadness that an average Nigerian farmer still makes use of primitive farm tools like hoes, cutlass among others. According to him, this constitutes a major setback to productivity, food security, and the contribution of agriculture to the economic growth of the country.
“Also, access to markets is one of the biggest challenges faced by smallholder farmers which directly affects their income and living standards. Lack of access to the market poses serious threats to farmers especially their inability to sell off their produce at good prices. Hence, this leads to massive post-harvest losses and food wastage,” he said.
The NITDA boss said NAVSA was designed to transform agricultural sector by deploying digital technology into farming activities in order to attract youngsters into farming business by using digital devices for maximum productivity and wealth creation.
But tech experts said there are different types of agricultural software to manage a farm.
Research by the Farm Journal Media shows that 59% of farmers use a smartphone and 44% use tablets. If you’re a farmer that uses mobile devices, downloading different agricultural apps would be a smart move to help make your small farming business more efficient.
If you’re a farmer that doesn’t use a mobile device, it’s time to embrace the 21st century by using modern technology.
Plenty of different agricultural apps are available in the market and hundreds of new apps are added every day. To help Nigerian smart farmers sort through the best new agriculture apps available, here is a list of farming software that can improve their agricultural production. These apps are also available on Androids, iPads, iPhones and more.
This mobile app links growers to traders and vice versa. Totheshelf intends to build a global network of agricultural products sellers and buyers. Farmers, cooperatives, wholesalers, brokers, importers, exporters, industry, retailers and anyone who involves in animal or plant products trading can download the app and seek new customers or business partners. The app is available in all countries and in two languages, English and Greek. (iPad, iPhone)
This app helps agricultural producers track key temperatures. The Climate App publishes maps that show recent highs, lows, and soil temperatures. The aim is to keep agricultural producers aware of the temperature ranges that could affect production timelines. The Climate App’s homepage currently presents five options: “Maximum Temperature (F) yesterday,” “Minimum Temperature (F) yesterday,” “7 Day Average Soil Temperature (4’),” “1 Day Soil Temperature (4’),” and “1 Day Precipitation Total.” Each option links to a map with a color scale that indicates the corresponding local information. (Available on most mobile devices)
Based on best-practice production processes for more than 100 crops, AGRIVI app guides farmers towards improving their production and increasing productivity. Its features include project-oriented farm management with a simple and fast way of planning, monitoring and tracking all farm activities and input usage. Advance sales and expense tracking ensures taking control over farm finances. Other features include inventory management with low inventory alarms which prevents delays in production caused by lack of inputs, weather monitoring with detailed 7-day weather forecasts and 3-year weather history for each field and smart disease risk detection alarms. (Android, iPad,iPhone)
This app allows you to use your tablet or smartphone as a precision tractor GPS system. It’s one of the first guidance software programs that functions as a precision farming application using an antenna. These antennas are capable of receiving and processing free corrections (e.g., EGNOS, WAAS). It can be used for any farming activity which is done by tractor or other agricultural machinery, including fertilization, manure application and spraying. It even can be used for land measurements as well. (Android)
Software for herd management. Farmeron collects all data in a single place, allowing you to make sound production decisions right on time. Functionalities include adding of animal lists and their costum groups, tracking of animal production activity, economic performance, purchase and sale. Other features include feeding diary, examining of nutritional value of feeding components and tools to optimize quality, structure and cost of the animal daily feed intake. (Android, iPad,iPhone)
Stay up-to-date with cropping, record-keeping, current weather conditions and more with the Sirrus app. This useful app for farmers is available for free on iOS operating systems.
FarmLogs is a farm management app, designed to help farmers execute their grain marketing decision. You can collect and log detailed information on a per-field basis with this highly useful app. You can also track lists, rainfall history and plan and budget on a season-to-season basis.
Growers Edge allows farmers to gain access to crucial aspects of their business from an iPhone of Android phone. The app also provides market commentary, farming news, weather information, a local rain report and commodity quotes, everything to help farmers improve operations and maximize profits.
Stay on top of the latest farming industry headlines, commentary, quotes and podcasts with the FarmFutures app, to ensure your up-to-date with everything that’s going on in the world of farming.
Farm At Hand
Manage your entire farming operations with greater ease and efficiency with Farm At Hand, a free, cloud-based farm management app. The app also captures key field data and allow you to track key activities such as harvesting, spraying and planting.
Do you run a small poultry farm? If so, use the Ross app to reference poultry flock performance and efficiency.
Pioneer’s Encirca View app is an all-in-one source of market data, marketing strategies, farming news, real-time weather and custom alerts for the farming community. You can also create and share geo-located notes, research historical weather trends and more, with this intuitive app for farm business owners.
Pocket Rain Gauge
Never be caught out in the rain again with Agrible’s Pocket Rain Gauge app. The app brings you accurate, location-specific rainfall measurements in an instant.
In the market for a new tractor? If so, save time and energy by downloading the TractorHouse app and browse through thousands of tractor listings. You can browse by location for the nearest perfect tractor for your specific needs.
Download the free AgWeb app to receive direct feeds on up-to-date market quotes, seven-day weather forecast, radio commentary and agricultural news with the AgWeb app, to help make your farm’s operations more efficient.
AgriSync is a free app for farmers designed to enable you to connect with your trusted advisors in an instant. Failing equipment can prove detrimental to a farming business. With the AgriSync app you can be back up and running in no time with the equipment support feature.
In addition to all this, NITDA DG said, in the coming years, the federal government 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 agriculture value chain for the ecosystem players in Nigeria.
This will, in no small measure, boost the economic diversification, growth, and prosperity of the country, he said.
He added: “NAVSA will make it possible to precisely capture data from individual farms and fields, combine it in macro-level data sets, and utilize those sets in increasingly cost-effective ways.
“Digital data in agriculture is potentially so transformative. It offers farmers access to tailored information and insights that allow individuals to optimize their production, gain access to appropriate products and services, and explore new linkages with markets.
“The use of technology to combat hunger and promote sustainable agriculture has profoundly received particular attention, perhaps more than any other development issue in the last two decades.
“Digital technologies and innovations are at the heart of managing the agriculture value chain from seedling to planting, produce monitoring to management, harvesting to processing, storage to marketing, and putting quality food on the table.
“What we have done is to rethink agriculture differently, by piloting digital technologies and innovations through a digital platform that woos and connects ecosystem players to make the journey of agribusiness seamless, productive, and efficient.
“The ecosystem includes farmers; input suppliers and produce off-takers; mobile/telecommunications service providers; Banks; FinTech; smart solutions service providers; renewable energy service providers; investors; development partners; agriculture platforms; startup businesses, agriculture experts, and extension workers among others.
The Federal Governrmentr says NAVSA connects ecosystem players across the agricultural value chain to position it as a business, attract youthful population into the agriculture enterprises and ensure there is a value addition to every farm produce for improved contribution to GDP and economic development.