The Federal Government is determined to establish a sustainable agriculture sector that raises the incomes of the rural population while under pinning the national economy.
This was disclosed by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) Arc. Sonny Echono while declaring open a staff training programme on innovative Collaboration for Development (CTA) in Abuja, August 24, 2015.
The Permanent Secretary said that the ministry seeks through the training to strengthen the staff capacity in developing and maintaining its online presence and relationship with the Nigerian public as well as play on effective role in influencing policy development processes and in supporting the development of effective value chains
He declared that the ministry has through the use of ICT built a vibrant agriculture in Nigeria and cleaned decades of corruption in the fertilizer sector through the Electronic Wallet Scheme.
According to him, Nigeria is the first country in Africa to develop the Electronic Wallet System through which farm inputs are delivered directly to farmers via electronic vouchers on their mobile phones, adding that within two years, the e-wallet system reached 6.4 million farmers and helped improve the food security of 30million people.
The training on innovative Collaboration for Development was organised by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) of Netherlands in collaboration with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).
The CTA in their mission to advance food and nutritional security and increase prosperity, sought through the training to empower development professional in the ministry to recognize the potential of Web 2.0 and social media and make innovative use of the tools to improve efficiency and effectiveness of the ministry’s teams and enhance its image.
In a goodwill message at the programme, the Executive Secretary, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), Professor B. Y. Abubakar disclosed that CTA has a mandate to facilitate access to and dissemination of information in the fields of agriculture and rural development in 78 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP). He said that in partnership with national institutions CTA organizes country specific training events known like Web 2.0 and social media learning opportunities like the one organized for the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Tony Ohaeri – Director Information
August 26, 2015