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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Agriculture, an information intensive industry-Johnson

Anthony Nwakaegho/NaijaAgroNet

The Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson, has acknowledged that agriculture is an information intensive industry.

Speaking in Abuja, recently Mrs. Johnson NaijaAgroNet confirmed that agriculture employs the 
highest number of people, with the highest contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Also, she said, ICT is the fastest growing sector in the economy today with increasing rate of contribution to GDP from 5.3 per cent in 2011 to about 8 per cent in first quarter of 2013.

“At every point in time in the agricultural value chain there can be an application of technology and that varies from information systems including DSS/MSS/GIS etc., ICT-enabled learning and knowledge exchange, modelling solutions, sensory and proximity devices, ICT-enabled networking solutions, online commerce tools (eCommerce/mCommerce),” she said.

Omobola explained that the Federal Government saved N25billion in 2012 through the e-wallet programme of the Ministry of Agriculture’s Growth Enhancement Support Scheme, while Nokia Life which is a Nokia proprietary initiative complements the extension services to farmers as it gives information to farmers on weather, soil and so on.
NaijaAgroNet gathered from the Minister that ICTs are becoming the channel by which inputs such as fertilizer are distributed to about 10 million farmers registered in 2012 and the e-wallet programme has helped in making sure that the farmers get these inputs at the right time and in the right quantities.

Based on this fact, it was discovered that ICTs through various interventions had made way for more efficient markets between buyers and sellers both locally and internationally.

However, the CommTech Minister said, that to get the full force of ICT in agriculture the connectivity gap, innovation gap and market gap have to be filled because about 50 per cent of rural population is not connected to any network at all, and  that the ministry is using ICTs to increase the attractiveness of the agric sector. 
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pix:Minister, Communication Technology,Mrs Omobola Johnson

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