The African Development Bank (AfDB) says it is ready to help Nigeria return to the electronic wallet system of input distribution to farmers to boost agricultural production.
The President of AfDB, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, said this on Monday, at a meeting with newsmen ahead of the Bank’s 2022 Annual Meetings in Accra, Ghana.
The e-wallet system was introduced by Adesina, while he was the Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria.
The system allowed the government to register about 14.5 million farmers and reached them directly with inputs, notably seeds and fertilisers, via electronic coupons on their mobile phones.
He said the Bank would support Nigeria with about 30 million dollars reallocated fund to be used for an emergency food plan to produce in the dry season.
“Nigeria needs to go back and use the electronic wallet system that I developed when I was a minister to get fertilisers straight to farmers and cut out all the middle men.
“We are going to help the government to do that because when farmers have quality seeds and fertilisers, they can rapidly triple food production,” he said.
According to him, Nigeria will also benefit significantly from the African Emergency Food Production Plan.
“In Nigeria, we have provided 540 million dollars for special agro-industrial processing zones in seven states including the Federal Capital Territory.
“That will allow Nigeria to have special zones where you can have agro processing value addition and increased competitiveness of agriculture.
“We are not alone, we put in 170 million dollars and others put in money such as the Islamic Development Bank and other partners,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the theme of the meetings is “Fostering Climate Resilience and a Just Energy Transition for Africa’’.