The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has promised the ministry’s readiness to support efforts that would digitize and improve the performance of the nation’s agriculture sector.

Ogbeh made this known during the 2018 farmers’ open day forum held in Abuja.

The forum was an awareness programme, organised by a group known as Initiative for Sustainable Marketing Society, ISCOMS, with the theme ‘Digitization a Panacea for Youth Participation in Africa’.

The minister, who was represented at the event by the ministry’s Acting Director, Cooperative Policy and Programmes, Alhaji Idris Sani, expressed government’s willingness to partner with any group in digitizing agriculture, improve yields and ensure food sufficiency in the country.

He pointed out that the present administration was working hard to improve agriculture in line with its policy on Ease of Doing Business and Economic Growth and Recovery Plan (ERGP).

This minister urged participants, who are mainly youths from various parts of the country, to take advantage of ISCOMS platform and partner with government in the efforts to diversify and grow the economy.

Earlier in his welcome address, ISCOMS Executive Director, Joel Prince, said that that the event afforded his group opportunity to motivate and engage youths actively into agriculture.

He drew the attention of participants to the fact that over 70 percent of agricultural practices in Nigeria were still done in the way of old, pointing out that if Nigeria is to attain its full agricultural potential, the nation’s productive workforce must actively engage in agriculture as one sure way to ensure food security and job creation.

The ISCOM Director said: “Our initiative is aimed at facilitating the emergence of a new generation of farmers/ entrepreneurs. With the launching of two e- agricultural platform, youths from around the country can own a commercial farm from the comfort of their homes. We have talked agriculture long enough it’s time to start doing agriculture.

Earlier, an agriculture expert from International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, IITA, Dr. Baba Oluwaseun, commended ISCOMS for bridging the gap between local farmers and technology.

He urged Nigerians, especially the youths, to join ISCOMS in its efforts to promote deployment of technology to the nation’s agriculture sector.