UNN to partner Digital Bridge Institute on tractorisation initiative

The University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) is to collaborate with the Digital Bridge Institute on the information management aspects of its tractorisation initiative.

The Vice-Chancellor of UNN, Prof Benjamin Ozumba, made this known in Abuja.

Ozumba said that information management was vital to efforts to ensure the success of the tractorisation initiative, adding that this explained was why the Digital Bridge Institute was chosen as a partner for the tractorisation project.

The Digital Bridge Institute is an establishment established and funded by the Federal Government to improve digitalisation in the country. We have a relationship with the institute at the university; they come and teach Information Communication Technology (ICT) applications and digital component. Remember, everything now is about digitalisation. The involvement of the Digital Bridge Institute entails the provision of tractor information as well as communication management designs for tractor modification and maximisation through the digital platform. Even the plane flying is programmed digitally; same thing goes for tractors. The movement, lifespan, life cycle of the tractors will be programmed by the institute. Digital Bridge Institute is very experienced and they will provide a platform and the technical knowhow for this project. Let us assume we produce tractors that are unmanned, it is their responsibility to programme the tractors to move round the farm to save manpower. Communication management is about digitalisation too. It will help us track the tractors, where they are at any given time. It can help us track the movement of the tractor.You have to know the movement; you need to know if the tractors have provided enough fertiliser at a particular location.This is what digitalisation is all about. It is going to help us to monitor processes so that things won’t be done blindly,’’ he said.

The vice-chancellor said that the tractorisation project would be a component of the science park initiative of the UNN.

The tractorisation project will be a component of our science park. We will produce implements that will be used by our farmers. The science park will modify many components that would be relevant to African agriculture. We have to produce equipment that would be useful here because of our peculiar terrain. We have been teaching and doing vocational researches but now, it is going to be all-round practical applications. I can assure you that tractors have not been assembled in any Nigerian university. Our intention is produce tractors that are powered by solar energy; that is the essence of the science park”, he said.

The budget for the initiative is about 20 million dollars. The Federal Government has floated a proposal for a technology incubator, barely a week after we announced its launching in our university. We are tired of following; I am happy that we will be used as pilot study in this initiative. I am looking forward to a day when our university will be self-financing; that is our target. In Sweden, the science park is private sector-driven; a university started it but it was later bought by somebody. For the sustainability of a science park, there is the need for the private sector to come in, just as we are doing in this case,’’ he said.