Nigerian Govt to Distribute 10m Phones to Farmers

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Farmer on phone

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is promoting an electronic-wallet project among farmers, and farmers will receive their fertiliser and seed support through their mobile phones. The farmers will also receive information on farming seasons, prices of products, fertiliser delivery dates and scarcity periods. According to news reports, the federal government has concluded plans to distribute 10 million phones to farmers across the country as part of this project. The project is in collaboration with the Ministry of Communication Technology, which has been reported as having already discussed with the various service providers on how to execute the project. Apparently, network providers have agreed to expand their networks deeper nto rural areas for greater access.

I like the e-wallet idea and the idea of pushing timely information and updates to farmers on the fields. I do feel very strongly though that the government has no business distributing phones to farmers when more pressing infrastructure issues stare at everyone in the face. How about roads, irrigation channels, fuel supply, and storage facilities for products, among others? By the way, farmers will also be provided with solar-powered lamps for charging the phones.

Somehow, I just can’t shake the feeling that this is another white elephant project – another idea whose cost – N60 billion – will be out of proportion to its usefulness or worth. If government had left the farmers to acquire their own phones by themselves, I would be more excited about this.


  1. If the Govt is sure of additional 10M farmers (subscibers) to the GSM telcos,then why cant they convince the network operators to give them the phones for free?
    10M additional subscibers will result in a big leap in the Telcos revenue.

  2. As a mobile money operator, I should be happy ordinarily that my industry is being deepened for a wider reach. But this urgent conclusion to distribute N10m phones worth about N60b is so worrisome.
    Where did they get the database of genuine farmers? Is low end phones that costly that farmers can’t afford them?
    What of revisiting the Land use act that makes acquisition of Land (main capital) near impossible?
    This billions will surely end up in few bank accounts while farmers are left wondering and wandering

  3. Why do we seem remotely surprised at this? This is the same Federal Govt who, during the removal of fuel subsidy crisis, dashed the nation of 36 states and of approx 140 million people about 16 passenger vans to “alleviate” the burden.

    Where did the figure of 10 million come from? Who qualifies and how do they?

    Questions we will never get the answer to – Same old same old.

  4. mobile phones practically cost nothing to own, with as little as 3000 one can purchase a phone, these people at the helm are just looking for ways to plunder the oil money and as for the aeroplane thing, why? if an airliner is serious then they should be able to purchase aeroplanes via bank loans.
    our government has a history of not been able to manage anything properly

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