Experts are beginning to advocate more technology in agriculture to boost productivity and enhance economic growth.
This push is apt, because Nigeria cannot maximise the potential of agricultural sector using the old farming methods.
Therefore, if agriculture must contribute optimally to the economy, technology must take a full course.
The agricultural sector can contribute massively to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) if technology is fully deployed into the sector.
This thought was voiced by the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Inuwa Abdullahi.
Inuwa said that if Nigeria could digitise smallholder farmers, contribution of agriculture to the GDP can increase to $67 billion yearly.
This is coming on the heels of commitment by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to scale up support for digital solutions for smallholder farmers.
The Country Director of IFAD, Ekoue Dede, said evidence had shown that technology in agriculture can contribute to increasing farmers productivity and income.
Technology Can Help Nigeria’s Economy
It can also strengthen resilience to climate change and improve access to markets.
She made the call at an event on deepening Partnership for Scale-up of Information Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) for farmers.
“Electronic Marketing solutions can increase smallholder farmers income by 37%, and their productivity by 73%.
“Moreso, electronic extension services can increase their productivity up to 75%.
“While digital financial services can increase their income by 18% on average and their productivity receives boost by 25 to 50%,” Ekoue said.
Speaking further, the NITDA boss noted that Nigeria was 22 times bigger than Netherlands in land size.
But technology deployment had made it possible for Netherlands to produce more agricultural produce than Nigeria.
“If we use technology in agriculture, it can boost productivity by 67%.
“Today Nigeria’s GDP is about $477 billion, if agriculture contributes 21%, that will be $100 million, so when technology is applied then the figure can increase by 67%,” he stated.
Also, Inuwa said agriculture was one of the critical sectors of the economy given its contribution to the GDP.
Therefore, President Tinubu seeing this, has mandated that the sector be grown by deployment of technology to enhance productivity and growth of the economy.