Thursday, April 25, 2024

Adesina Calls for Relaunch of e-wallet Scheme for Nigerian Farmers

The current President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has called for the reactivation of an electronic wallet scheme (e-wallet) that was used to reach farmers directly with inputs, notably seeds and fertilizers, via electronic coupons on their mobile phones.

The current President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has called for the reactivation of an electronic wallet scheme (e-wallet) that was used to reach farmers directly with inputs, notably seeds and fertilizers, via electronic coupons on their mobile phones.

Adesina made this call at a meeting with journalists in Accra, Ghana, saying that Nigeria needs to go back to the use of the electronic wallet system that was developed during his time as Minister of Agriculture for the country.

It can be recalled that prior to the tenure of Adeshina as minister under President Goodluck Jonathan, the old system of input supply was weak, inefficient, and allegedly fraudulent, as a large proportion of intending beneficiaries could not get access to the product, due to diversion for personal use by middle men.

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To cut out the activities of middle men in reaching farmers directly, concerted efforts were made to address the problem, which gave birth to the Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES) via the electronic wallet scheme (e-wallet).

The GES scheme allowed the government to register about 14.5 million farmers and reach them directly with input, but the initiative was abruptly stopped in 2015, immediately after the current administration assumed office.

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Adesina disclosed that the AfDB will support Nigeria with about $30m of reallocated funds to be used for an emergency food plan to be produced in the dry season to enable the country to reach its production capacity to ensure food security.

The AfDB boss added that when farmers have quality seeds, fertilizers and other farm inputs, they can rapidly triple food production and improve their livelihoods, and that the cost of food will come down as more is available to sell by the farmers.

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