Globally, there is a major upsurge in the application of “Big Data Analytics” for value creation in the livestock industry (Deloitte, 2018). Data analytics provide insights into trends and patterns regarding complex phenomena facing all aspects of livestock production and value chains. Thus, a sound data culture is inextricably bound to value creation and enterprise development in the livestock industry. Wolfert et al (2017) noted that the scope of big data applications in smart farming goes beyond primary production, since it influences the entire commodity value chain, drives real-time operational decisions, and re-designs business processes for game-changing business models.
Under this new paradigm for harnessing big data to drive the global development agenda, it becomes imperative that data analytics and tools are deployed as central components of training and capacity building in all higher education institutions in Nigeria. In every academic Department in agricultural sciences, there is the possibility of accumulating mega datasets over time through multiple avenues and sources including supervision of students’ projects (at all levels, BSc/B.Agric., MSc/MPhil., PhD), funded research, metadata, and supplementary data from global and regional databases (e.g. DAD-IS, NIMET, GODAN, DAGRIS, FAOSTAT, etc.)
A key constraint however, is the dearth of institutional mechanisms for accumulating and harnessing data assets to drive the development agenda. Other constraints include absence of a proper framework for ICT-driven data capture, archiving, management, analysis and generation of intelligence and insights for value creation and enterprise development. The need for a new direction in training and capacity building is very apparent and urgent. A sound data culture is almost becoming an existential issue for all units and organizations globally. Without a well-entrenched data culture, many organizations may run the risk of asphyxiation and rapid decline to a moribund state. The primary goal of this proposal is to address these gaps.