The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has pledged its support to the Nigerian government in its efforts to digitalise agriculture in the area of the Niger Delta, with the goal of increasing employment opportunities for regional youth and women. To this end, the Ministry of Agriculture, along with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), would carry out the project named Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises for Niger Delta (LIFE-ND), which the federal government is sponsoring by undertaking a loan from IFAD.
Acknowledging the significance of such innovation in the region, the Nigerian government recently participated in an exchange trip to the Kenya Cereal Enhancement Programme – Climate Resilient Agricultural Livelihoods (KCEP-CRAL) Project in Kenya, supported by IFAD. At the global collaboration programme, which was also attended by other IFAD-supported Projects geared at job creation, the management of the FGN/NDDC/IFAD LIFE-ND Project reaffirmed its dedication to improving agriculture in the Niger Delta through the implementation of digital technology.
Farmers’ standard of living will be improved across the region.
Also, the group discussed in depth the various ways in which ICT tools and tactics could be used to improve smallholder farmers’ living standards effectively and shared their important thoughts. According to the media unit, the Nigerian Project provided an in-depth explanation of how to utilise technology to increase agricultural productivity and improve living conditions. The team claimed that the innovation would completely change the way farming is done, make food more secure, and boost the socioeconomic well-being of populations in the area.
Dede Ekoue, the Country Director for IFAD, during the course of the exchange visit, discussed the significance of working together with others and forming partnerships, as well as IFAD’s goal to make use of ICT-based solutions in agricultural development. She appreciated the progress that had already been accomplished by KCEP-CRAL as well as the prospects that were inherent in supporting the achievement that had been recorded by the LIFE-ND project in the field of ICT for Development.
Food security, job creation, and others will be achieved.
In addition, Bukar Musa, the Director of the Project Coordinating Unit of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, made notice of the status of the ICT for Development initiative in relation to the agricultural policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria. He went on to say that information and communications technology (ICT) for development was an accurate tool that could provide food security, job creation, and economic expansion in a manner that was both efficient and sustainable.
On his end, Abiodun Sanni, the National Project Coordinator of the LIFE-ND Project, stressed that the initiative is exhibiting an uninterrupted dedication to digitalising agriculture in the region in order to mark a positive future for smallholder farmers and communities. In a recent announcement, the LIFE-ND Project stated that it had helped farmers across the states acquire improved hybrid crop planting materials, including plantain suckers, cassava stem cuttings, rice seeds, and the Clarias Catfish breed for the production of aquaculture.
Over 3 billion has been contributed to the national economy.
At the moment, the initiative has contributed an approximate gross revenue worth of over 3 billion to the national economy, contributing to an increase in both individual and national food security. In addition, these figures do not take into account the funds that are anticipated to be realised from the sale of goods that have not yet been marketed, which is estimated to be over N2.19 billion, as well as the losses that were experienced by over 572 recipients owing to the flood in 2022.