The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (FMAFS) has organized a policy dialogue to boost partnerships for the scale-up of ICT4D for smallholder farmers in Nigeria.
Speaking during her opening remark on Wednesday in Abuja, the Country Director, IFAD, Mrs Dede Ekoue said that the policy dialogue aimed at strengthening our partnership for enhanced access of small holder farmers to digital solutions to enhance their livelihoods, their contribution to food security nutrition, poverty reduction, economy growth and job creation.
According to her, IFAD is committed to promoting the empowerment of small holder farmers globally through several solutions and is scaling up its support in digital solutions. “The evidence has shown ICT4D in Agriculture could contribute to increasing farmers’ productivity and incomes, strengthen resilience to climate change and improve access to and participation in markets – particularly for most marginalized groups such as youth and women. E-marketing solutions can increase smallholder farmers’ income by 37% and their productivity by 73%. E-extension services can increase their productivity up to 75%. Digital financial services can increase their income by 18% on average, and their productivity typically receives a boost between 25 and 50%.
“Based on this evidence we have successfully helped under the leadership of FMAFS a dialogue on increasing access of smallholders to digital solutions. One of the recommendations of this dialogue was the urgency of fostering partnerships for scaling digital solutions for farmers.
On his part, the Director General/CEO, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, said “The strategic role of ICT in agriculture development by IFAD is highly commendable and it is only through strategic partnership and collaboration between agric and ICT ecosystems that we can exponentially increase the productivity and income of smallholder farmers in Nigeria with a positive impact on our agrifood systems and the entire economy.
“We remain committed to continuing to build strategic partnerships, connect the innovation ecosystem to the agriculture sector and facilitate new business and economic models that will accelerate the achievement of Mr President’s Renewed Hope Agenda for the agriculture sector.”