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NITDA partners USAID on digital agriculture, food security

By George George Idowu

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has expressed its readiness to collaborate with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and other key stakeholders to address the issue of food insecurity in the country.

This announcement came during a meeting at NITDA’s headquarters in Abuja, where representatives from USAID, led by the Senior Digital Advisor Bureau for Resilience, Environment, and Food Security, Josh Woodard, were received by Mr. Kashifu Inuwa, the Director General of NITDA.

The purpose of the meeting was to conduct a rapid landscape assessment of digital agriculture in Nigeria and explore opportunities for partnership.

Inuwa emphasized the importance of leveraging information technology (IT) to enhance productivity across critical sectors, particularly agriculture.

He highlighted NITDA’s focus on six emerging technologies, including Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Blockchain, Robotics, and additive manufacturing, to achieve food security goals.
He said the ongoing AI Strategy co-creation workshop aims to develop strategies for AI applications in various sectors, including agriculture.

Similarly, efforts are underway to utilize IoT for crop and soil monitoring, UAVs for pest detection, Blockchain for traceability of farm produce, Robotics for farm automation, and additive manufacturing for customized agricultural equipment.

Inuwa also mentioned the recent launch of the Nigeria Startup Portal, which aims to support local startups in the digital agriculture space. Over 12,000 startups have already registered, with plans to provide them with incentives and support.

On the part of USAID, Woodard expressed interest in collaborating with stakeholders to enhance the integration of digital technology in agriculture.

He highlighted USAID’s recent launch of the Global Food Security Strategy for Nigeria (2024-2029) and emphasized the importance of partnership in ensuring food security.

 

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