Ten Million Cell Phones to be Distributed to Nigerian Farmers As Part of Measures to Boost Agricultural Production
Ten million cell phones will be distributed to Nigerian farmers as part of measures to boost agricultural production in the country, the government has announced.
The Permanent Secretary at the federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs Ibukun Odusote, said at a sensitization program for farmers at Igan-Ipabi in Ijebu-East Local Government Area of Ogun State in south-western Nigeria that the distribution of the cell phones was one of the steps being taken by the ministry to ensure food security in Nigeria.
Odusote said that the Ministry of Information Technology and other relevant stakeholders had been contacted to collaborate toward effective distribution of the phones.
“As part of the electronic-wallet which we are promoting, the handsets will be the toll with which we will communicate to farmers in the rural areas. Deep into the interiors, we will be able to communicate with them,’’ she said.
She explained that the government would the network providers to go into the hinterlands and expand their network so that the farmers could have access to their services.
According to her, appropriate measures have been taken to commence the distribution exercise before the end of the first quarter.
Odusote also said that the beneficiaries would receive direct alert for the collection of fertilizer as well as information on farming seasons, prices of products and scarcity period.
She said that farmers would get 50 percent subsidy on fertilizer as well as other necessary assistance from government.
The farmers, according to her, will be provided with solar-powered lamps for charging the phones and that the initiative is to achieve a complete value change in the sector.
She advised graduates to tap into the opportunity, noting that this would bring about overall development in the sector.
The Regional Director in the ministry, Mr Olalekan Quadri, said that measures were being put in place to ensure farmers engage in mechanized farming.
Source African Press Agency
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