The Chief Executive Officer of SmarterFACAN, Mr Muhammad Adebola, says plans are underway to connect over 100,000 small holder farmers to a digital platform by the end of 2019.
Adebola made this known while speaking with Nigeria News Agency in Abuja on Friday.
Speaking on the just concluded 2019 Feed Nigeria Summit in Abuja, he said the innovation was to help farmers create wealth among other benefits.
SmarterFACAN is a project embarked upon by Federation of Agricultural Commodity Association of Nigeria (FACAN) in partnership with Foundation for Leadership, Ethical Evolution and Sustainable Development (FLEESD).
FLEESD is a civil society organisation on the Sustainable Development Goal-2030 for advancement of quality of lives of rural Nigerians and smallholder farmers
Adebola told that the platform when put to use, would maximise yields and cut down on post – harvest waste.
He said the platform would help farmers and other stakeholders within the various value chains in the agricultural sector to find solutions to persistent challenges.
“The platform can help farmers with weather forecast, soil testing, yield prediction, farm management, financial assistance among others,” Adebola said.
He noted that many factors including the literacy level of farmers, particularly in rural areas, were put into consideration in designing the application.
Adebola said the application was configured to speak the language of end users and provide an avenue for all actors to interact on a daily basis.
He said SmarterFACAN was a way of implementing the digital transformation of FACAN across its various member associations and the entire industry value chain for improved agriculture.
“The project will leverage IBM technologies with features that include Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain and Cloud among others.
“It will ensure efficiency and effectiveness of all operations in the ecosystem leading to productivity for the smallholders and service providers and for wealth creation and distribution.
“It will help develop and enhance the capital knowledge of all operators in the ecosystem and aim to build the foundation for a robust national digital economy.
“The application will further improve national food security from improved productivity and reduction in post-harvest losses through technology-interface, data analytics and insights.
“Furthermore, it will help with job creation and sustainable development of our people, translating to improved GDP and economic growth,” Adebola explained.
He disclosed that “SmarterFACAN was endorsed in 2018, making it Nigeria’s first bold attempt at unleashing her digital economy, estimated at over 88 billion dollars, according to 2018 African Development Bank (AfDB) and World Economic Forum (WEF) report.
Adebola said that the first phase of the project, which would run for 12 months, would focus on some high value commodities with export and industrial demands.
He said that the phase would include enrolment of all members of various commodity associations for “on-boarding”.
According to Adebola, other commodities would be added after the first phase to expand the capacity of farmers across board.
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