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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cellulant drives FG’s electronic agricultural input scheme


Mobile commerce service operator, Cellulant Nigeria Limited, has concluded plans to oversee the Federal Government’s electronic-based agricultural input programme tagged Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GES).

ITRealms Online learnt that under the scheme, Cellulant would design, develop and operate the technology platform that will provide electronic-mobile registration, validation and also develop a value chain system; an electronic wallet (e-wallet) that will support the distribution of farm inputs directly to farmers.

Cellulant Nigeria Limited is part of the Cellulant Corporation, a business founded by Nigerians and Kenyans with operations across a number of African countries including Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Botswana.

Executive Director, Special Projects, Cellullant Corporation Limited, Mr. Bolaji Akinboro, explained that the firm’s involvement in the Nigerian government’s subsidized fertilizer access scheme is to deploy its expertise in value chain development, digital content creation, delivery and management over mobile telecommunication network.

He noted that as a leading mobile commerce network operator in Africa that manages, delivers and bills for digital content and mobile payment networks, Cellulant understands the requirements and challenges of mobile commerce business.

“Over the years, we have worked with several Nigerian telecommunication companies, banks and various other organizations to deliver and manage digital content and it is the same expertise and experience that the Nigerian government will leverage to operate the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme,” he said.

The GES scheme, he explained is aimed at delivering subsidized fertilizer to farmers; empower them to increase their yield and encourage a shift from subsistence to commercial farming based on an electronic registration and validation process.

Under the GES Scheme, an accredited farmer will receive fertiliser allocation through a Personal Identification Number, PIN (a voucher number for all farm inputs comprising fertilizer and seeds- available through the GES program) sent to his or her phone. The recipient then redeems the voucher for farm inputs at subsidized rates after paying the top-up to specially appointed agro-dealer.

The government contracted Cellulant to help build an efficient distribution channel to deliver fertilizer to farmers. During the field trials of the GES technology in 12 states; the redemption rates for farm inputs by farmers was very significant.  This has now made it possible for Government to affect the lives of the individual Nigerian Farmer directly.

Akinboro further said the firm’s business falls within the Value Added Services or Wireless Application Service provider segment of the telecommunication industry and also as an ecosystem provider in the mobile commerce segment of the banking industry.

“Cellulant is a Nigerian company that has been duly registered and operating in the country for over eight years with vast experience in the valued added services segment in the telecommunications sector,” he said. 

Remmy Nweke

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