As part of efforts at expanding and enhancing the success of the ongoing electronic wallet programme of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the federal government has concluded plans to distribute 10 million phones to farmers across the country.
The Minister, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, stated this yesterday in Abuja at the opening of a two-day workshop under the National Presidential Initiative on Youth Employment on Agriculture Programme (YEAP).
Adesina said the phone lines would mitigate the challenges often faced by farmers to get access agriculture inputs, adding that the distribution of the phones will commence in 2013.
According to him, the 10 million phones will be done by the Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the Ministry of Information Technology and the Finance Ministry.
He said: "Today, we have launched the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme through which farmers now receive their fertiliser and seed support through their mobile phones, or Electronic Wallets. By 2013, we plan to distribute 10 million mobile phones to farmers across the country to make it easier for them to access inputs. Nigeria is the first country in Africa to use electronic wallets to reach farmers with inputs."
The YEAP workshop which has as its theme, "Achieving Youth Employment In Agriculture For Nagropreneurs", is organised to enable stakeholders, comprising young entrepreneurs, the civil society, financial institutions and donor agencies in the agriculture sector, design a roadmap that will make agribusinesses attractive to youths across the country.