The International Fund for Agricultural Development, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (FMAFS), has kicked off a 2-day training workshop titled “Information Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) for Monitoring and Evaluation for FGN/IFAD Nigeria Projects” as part of efforts to harness digital solutions to address challenges in the agricultural sector.
During her speech at the workshop on Tuesday in Abuja, the Country Director of IFAD, Mrs. Dede Ekoue, emphasized that smallholder farmers are their primary focus.
She stated, “We must ensure that digitalization and M&E impact them in a way that empowers farmers to have a voice in the monitoring and evaluation system. The farmers’ voices need to be heard when we are monitoring the project. That way, we would be one step closer to our transformational journey.
“This partnership has already achieved several milestones, including the successful completion of the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue on ICT4D. As a result of this dialogue, we have worked together with FMAFS to bring together various actors from the public and private sectors, as well as farm organizations, to discuss what is essential to help us implement the government’s ambitious agenda for digitizing the agricultural food system.
“The second milestone achieved was capacity building for those involved in implementing agricultural projects. Through our partnership with Tech-change, we have successfully trained 68 individuals in ICT4D, aligning with the primary goal of ICT inclusion in the agricultural sector.
“As part of our efforts to foster south-south cooperation, the third milestone achieved was the completion of an exchange visit to Kenya to learn from the best practices there.
“Now, we are gearing up for the fourth milestone, which is the M&E training that has brought us here today. Afterward, we intend to work with FMAFS on a policy dialogue on ICT4D, hopefully by the end of November, if the government’s agenda allows. This is the roadmap we have established so far.”
Mrs. Ekoue further expressed her appreciation to the Federal Government, through FMAFS, for the opportunity to partner with them on this digitalization journey and for implementing the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy, which promotes digitalization in an inclusive manner.
She urged stakeholders and participants to seize the opportunity of the training to fully embrace the benefits and knowledge that can be gained from the workshop.