Group Trains Agric Extension Workers on Drones, Other Modern Technologies Use

724 views | Akanimo Sampson | March 5, 2021

More than 60 extension workers have been trained by Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN) on the use of drones and other modern agricultural technologies.

This is even as Abuja has began plans to identify new actions and partnerships that are critical to developing sustainable, healthier, all-inclusive, and equitable food systems in the country.

Executive Director of WOFAN, Salamatu Garba, says the trained extension workers were selected from four states in Nigeria, and will soon go-ahead to engage hundreds of farmers on modern farm technology.

“We invited 60 extension workers from four states in Nigeria to train them on ICT-led technology in agriculture and specifically we are looking at the use of what we call RiceAdvice.

“RiceAdvice is an application that farmers can use and the extension workers, to advice farmers efficiently to be able to give them adequate information, because once the farmers don’t get the right information that they require then it means they are misguided and again because we’re increasing production, it means that we have to change our ways of doing things,” she said.

On the use of technical farm equipment, she added that the extension workers will train farmers on the “use of drones in increasing productivity, advancing farmers and capturing data”.

According to the WOFAN boss, the training will also include investment in insurance and how to secure real-time information on climate change and weather forecast to help farmers make prompt and accurate decisions on-farm activities.

“We also brought in insurance people so that they will give us the necessary products that they have that go in line with climate shock.

“Last year, you know that a lot of farmers faced flood issues and some faced drought, so now if any of the farmers, unfortunately, find themselves in that situation, what will the insurance company do?

“So we are going into a partnership with them, we will sign a Memorandum of Understanding to make sure that farmers meet up with their requirements, and if anything happens they will also be there to address the situation for the farmers,” she explained.

National Convener of UN Food Systems Summit Dialogue for Nigeria, Mrs Olusola Idowu, made this known in her welcome remarks at the inception ceremony held in Abuja, on Tuesday.

Idowu explained that the summit among other things seeks to carefully examine the five action tracks of the United Nation’s Food Systems from a wide range of backgrounds and to review the country’s existing initiatives in a bid to birth a sustainable food system.

She noted that the inception dialogue was first in the series of national dialogues to be organised in line with the call by the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres.

Guterres in 2019 had called on world leaders to take part in the food systems summit as part of the decades of action aimed to achieve the sustainable development goals, SDG by 2030.

Idowu who also doubles as the Permanent Secretary, Budget and National Planning of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning underscored that the UN’s Food Systems Summit was required to launch new bold actions to deliver progress on all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) all of which said added relate to some extent ways to achieve sustainable and inclusive food systems.

“In line with this call the UN member states are encouraged to organize food system dialogues prior to the global summit planned to hold in September 2021, she said.

Shedding more light on the event, the Perm Sec revealed that the dialogues will hold in 3 levels which are the inception, exploration and consolidation dialogues.

She said that the dialogue will identify food systems challenges from multiple perspectives while the exploration dialogue was designed to hold in the six geo-political zones, states and cities.

“This dialogue will provide opportunities to harness promising approaches to solving food crises from diverse stakeholders that are critical to the food system in Nigeria

“Meanwhile, the consolidation dialogue will provide an avenue for various cross-section of stakeholders to exchange views on the pathway towards sustainable national food systems, identify intentions and commitment of different food system actors”, she averred

The national convener also divulged that the nation’s dialogue was guided by the UN’s five action tracks which include: ensuring access to safe and nutritious food for all, shifting to sustainable consumption patterns, boosting nature’s positive production, advancing equitable livelihood and Building resilience to vulnerabilities, shocks and stresses.

“The action tracks are required to draw from the expertise of actors from across the world’s food systems, we are also expected to collectively explore how key cutting levers of change such as human right, finance innovation, and empowerment of women and young people can be mobilised to meet the summit’s objectives”, she added.

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