Osinbajo: FG to prioritise investment in agritech

The Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), has said Nigeria is working to transform the agricultural sector by prioritising investments in innovation and technology as part of efforts to attract young people and scale up productivity.

According to a statement issued by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Mr Laolu Akande, Osinbajo stated this in a remark he delivered virtually at the 2021 High-Level Dialogue on Feeding Africa.

The event is organised by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), in partnership with the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and the CGIAR System Organisation with the theme “Feeding Africa: leadership to scale up successful innovations.”

He said: “At the heart of Nigeria’s post COVID-19 recovery plan, or what we describe as our Economic Sustainability Plan is an Agriculture for Food and Jobs Plan (AFJP) where we seek to leverage suitable technologies to build a resilient food system for Nigeria especially in the light of the economic, health and food supply chain devastations caused by the pandemic. Implementation is well underway and we have quite a few impressive results already.”

Further, the Vice President said during the COVID lockdowns, “we trained and deployed over 34,000 young graduates all over the country, covering over 8,000 local government wards in 774 local government areas. Each of these young men and women had a locally developed app on smartphones and electronic tablets to digitally register farmers and map out their farm GIS coordinates.

“So, we have registered and mapped about 6 million small-holder farmers to their farmlands and we are also currently collecting 200,000 composite soil samples from these farms to be analyzed in 22 local soil laboratories to guide local fertilizer blending”, he said.

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