The Chief Executive Officer, Agroxchange Technology, Mr. Adewale Adegoke, has said there is a need to train farmers on digital smart farming solutions to boost food production in the country.
Worried over the alarming rate of food insecurity and the rising cost of prices, he stated that it is apt as Nigeria and many other countries in Africa and across the globe are faced with acute food insecurity. The issue is even worsened by insecurity, climate change, and the Covid 19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, stakeholders in digital smart farming agriculture have developed multiple digital solution approaches that will optimize food production and reduce the impact of insecurity on the food value chain. The move was to develop a digital smart farming agriculture concept. According to the agric stakeholders, it was also aimed at helping Nigeria save huge fortunes that it loses to insecurity.
Speaking with This Day, Adegoke, who expressed the concerns of stakeholders in digital smart farming over the adverse impacts of the worsening insecurity on the economy, mostly in the agriculture sector, said the alarming effects of the food crisis are high.
He, therefore, said the digital scheme is the solution to Smallholder farmers’ increase in returns on investment (RoI) and reduction in the overhead cost of farming.
He pointed out that the initiative was factored in due to the insecurity challenges in the country and to tackle constraints that could affect the optimum delivery and monitoring of agric farms.
According to Adegoke, the data collected from the farms under the smart farming scheme are evidence baseline data that can influence the government’s agricultural policies, regarding technology innovations as a panacea to insecurity in the agric sector to ameliorate the food crisis.
“This is why we work with varsity, academia to be able to come up with this approaches in supporting government regarding embedding technology in the agricultural policies.
“One of the key approaches to the constraints to the delivery of optimized food security in Nigeria is that we adopted multiple digital solutions integrated into a bundle innovated services through the smart farming acquisition centre. Now, through this approach, we offered tailored democratized services choosing top-down approach to achieve the expected impact of resilient and improved farmers’ livelihoods,” he said.
“With that, we basically look at it from the point of propagatory advisory to the farmers. We want to be able to solve these issues in our agric sector, such as even taking into account, the current problem we have in the country which is insecurity.
This has limited the capacity of the farmers going to the farms. They are afraid of being attacked,” Adegoke added.
Speaking further on how the initiative will work, he said it would address problems being faced by local farmers.
“Now we are looking at how do we solve this problem and how do we ensure we can still optimize production while taking into account solving the problem of insecurity in Nigeria. Now, one of the things we thought about to be able to propagate this, is that we decided to acquire and adopt the approach of localized smart farming advisory centers and extension services within farming communities at smart farming villages.
“This ensures that the farmers within those communities are provided services that include security cover and this security will come from the collaboration with a local vigilante group that means, we are able to improve the confidence of the farmers and other existing farmers or new farmers,” he stated.
On the objective of engagements in digital smart farming in agriculture, Adegoke pointed out that the move was meant to measure the impacts of digital technologies on the economies of production and establish sorts of attributions.
He added that digital agriculture can measurably increase incomes for smallholder farmers and reduces the cost of inputs drastically.