80% of Nigerian smallholder farmers classified as ‘digital immigrants’

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By Oscar Nkala:”

Up to 80% of Nigeria’s smallholder farmers are ‘digital immigrants’ who are old and slow in agricultural technology uptake and compliance, says a leading farmers organisation.

Corporate Farmers International (CFI) co-founder Akinwale Alabi said the youths, who are quick to grasp and experiment with digital technologies, remain a minority in the local smallholder farmer population.

“The remaining 20% are young farmers with a 90% acceptability rating for technology. There is this excitement about technology in farming among them.

“Technology has helped to solve a lot of problems ranging from accessing banking facilities to gauging the quantity of rains required for particular plants. With new technological innovations, many people are beginning to see the light in agriculture,” Alabi said.

However, he said there remains hope that due to the high rate of agricultural technology uptake and acceptance among young farmers, the older generation will also adapt as technologies become more readily available and accessible.

To increase the rate of agricultural technology uptake across the age divide, the Nigerian government was advised to provide training and technology exposure sessions for farmers.