Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the UN in Zaria on Friday donated 200 android tablets and a “cloud server’’ to National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS) to promote agricultural productivity.
FAO Representative in Nigeria, Mr Nouroumacki Tall, who spoke at the presentation of the gadgets, said that they would speed up the gathering and treatment of information on agricultural productivity.
Tall, who was represented by Dr Rabe Mani, a Deputy Director of FAO, said that the tablets would eradicate delayed release and availability of crop production estimates caused by manual questionnaires and data entry.
He said that the adoption of android field data collection and processing tools would also enhance livestock production as well as other food security needs’ assessment and monitoring.
“Although NAERLS has introduced the use of tablets for real time data capturing, their use was limited by insufficient tablets and dependence on ground level server storage.
“FAO responded to these challenges, first by providing NAERLS with a `cloud server’, funded under another project, MTF/GLO/359/BMG, and supported by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,’’ he said.
Earlier, the NAERLS Director, Prof. Mohammed Khalid-Othman, said that the active collaboration between the two organisations had been on for years.
Khalid-Othman, who was represented by a Deputy Director, Prof. Emmanuel Ekani, identified food policy and food security as some of the themes of the partnership.
While appreciating FAO for the gesture, Khalid-Othman noted that Nigeria had gained a lot from the UN organisation in different areas of agricultural development.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the presentation of the information tools was part of the closing ceremony of a four-day workshop on “Crop and Pasture Assessment by Early Warning System’’ held at NAERLS complex in Zaria.