In line with its avowed determination aimed at up-scaling agricultural activities through technology adoption and dissemination in the West African sub-region, the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP) in Nigeria has embraced the Electronic Technology Transfer (ETT) Agriculture.
While disclosing this recently at the commencement of a five day training workshop on the Electronic Technology Transfer organized for Coordinators of adopted villages and Desk Officers of WAAPP projects from the 27 Agricultural Research Institutes and Federal Colleges of Agriculture in the country, the National Project Coordinator of WAAPP-Nigeria, Professor Damian O. Chikwendu said, the WAAPP Electronic Technology Transfer (WAAPP-ETT), is a means of developing a robust, easy to use integrated and accessible system that will improve the lots of the farmers through effective and responsive participation in research. The practice he said could also lead to improvements in key implementers, and in the promotion and adoption of best practices as well as quick response to field problem.
According to him, ETT Agriculture offers low cost communication to farmers, service providers and real-time access to any agricultural services no matter their location, language and level of education.
Furthermore, he added, the ETT enhances access to modern markets through integration with telecom service providers for subscription to extremely affordable voice and data services. The National Project Coordinator's remarks were read on his behalf by the WAAPP Operation Officer, Mr. James Apochi.
While welcoming the participants to the workshop, a resource person for the workshop, Mr. Sam Kow disclosed that the purpose of the workshop was to equip the Coordinators of the Adopted villages and WAAPP Desk Officers to handle the colossal task ahead of them. ETT Agriculture, he said, has the objectives of facilitating among others, the registration of farmers and their farms, capturing of every days report on a farmer's farm and capturing of data on the diseases/pests for rapid response on a farmer's farm.
The WAAPP desk officers from the various institutions were given a smart phone (Samsung Galaxy ACE) each to facilitate their work in the field.
The workshop which came up at the SAFTEC Hotel in Minna, Niger State had 81 participants from all parts of the country in attendance.
The West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP) is a World Bank assisted programme under the auspices of member countries of the Economic Communities of the West African States (ECOWAS). The objectives of the project is to improve agricultural productivity in the ECOWAS countries while at the same time promoting regional integration.