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FG to provide 10 million mobile phones worth N60b to rural farmers

By on January 3, 2013

Nigeria farmers

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs Ibukun Odusote yesterday said the Federal Government is working on providing 10 million mobile phones to farmers by the end of March.

She said the handsets were produced in China and US for distribution to farmers. Adding, Odusote said the government would spend between N40 billion and N60 billion on acquisition of the handsets.

The handsets will be produced specifically for rural farmers to enhance communication between government and farmers on issues bothering on agriculture. “Beneficiaries would be women and youths in rural areas,” she said.

The Permanent Secretary disclosed this during a sensitisation visits to Igan – Ipabi Community in Ijebu North East Local Government Area of Ogun State. Explaining further, she said the handsets will be equipped with solar powered components to supplement as chargers in the case of power failure.

Mrs Odusote said, “We are talking about 10million handsets, each handset would be costing, may be N6000 or N4000 because it is in large number. We are not going to buy in pieces like that. We will buy directly from the manufacturing companies. We have agreement with some organisations in China and some in the United States; they are going to provide all these handsets for us because they are also interested in investing in the Agricultural sector in Nigeria. Therefore, you have the idea and estimate of the cost.

“And I tell you that the money is available, it’s on ground. We are looking at the first quarter of this year to roll – out the phones and by the end of the first quarter, we are done and they will start hearing about out roll – out.”

“The handsets will be the tools with which to communicate with the farmers in the rural areas, deep deep into the interiors so that we will be able to communicate with them even in the hinterlands.”

She concluded by saying that the government was dedicated and committed towards promoting agriculture in the country, create jobs in the sector through the provision of fertilisers, seedlings and enabling accessibility to those facilities.