The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and rural Development in Nigeria has announced the last stage of its plan to distribute 10 million phones to farmers across the country. This was revealed by the Minister, Akinwumi Adesina at a workshop under the National Presidential Initiative on Youth Employment on Agriculture Programme (YEAP).
The Federal Government intends to use agriculture to tackle youth unemployment. According to the Minister, the government intends to achieve a shift from seeing agriculture as a social service to being seen as a business. Akinwumi said succeeding government failed to attract the right kind of investment as well as participation into agric-business because it was not treated as a business enterprise.
“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,” he said.
The distribution of the mobile phones by 2013 will help farmers get access to agriculture inputs, which will eliminate the challenges the farmers face on a daily basis.
“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,” he concluded.