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The study appraises the Electronic Wallet communication platform under the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GESS). The revolution in the media has greatly altered communication in all spheres of life including agriculture. The integration of the ICTs to some extent has brought possible solutions to developing countries especially in their utilization for agriculture. Though, for more than two decades, Nigeria‟s agriculture has been plunged into several reformation crises which have demanded the use of different communication strategies with little or no results in some cases. All these brought about the recent deployment of the e-wallet as part of the schemes by the Federal Government to reform the agricultural sector since 2011. It is therefore imperative to assess the new communication strategy as it has been operated under the reformation which is the focus of this study. In this study, 80 (40 from each village) farmers were administered questionnaire to in Nassarawan Buhari and Nwogi communities. They are registered farmers who have participated in the e-wallet scheme since its inauguration. The adopted villages were selected because they were part of the communities where the registration of farmers under the scheme commenced earlier in the North Central and North West agro-ecological Zones of Nigeria. So far, the study appraised e-wallet‟s effectiveness, usability and acceptability among farmers in the selected villages. The Diffusion and Innovation Theory and the Participatory Communication Theory underpinned the study in order to generate solid argument for effective communication approaches. For data analysis, this study used tables and simple descriptive statistical tools. The study discovered that farmers are aware of the e-wallet scheme through many sources especially the radio as the highest source. The study revealed that the e-wallet is an effective scheme that has helped drive Agricultural Transformation Agenda. Meanwhile, there were challenges of interconnectivity and network failure as experienced by the farmers in this study. Though the scheme is acceptable by farmers, but the process has not been really participatory. Thus, there is a need for the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to build improved e-wallet system that will enable the farmers interact very well and strengthen their involvement in the sustainable development of the system beyond the present regime. Also, the e-wallet scheme communication approach should be deployed in other value chains of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (in order to take care of farm-to-market) process in order to help farmers get responsive and viable market prices and sales. More so, the Federal Government should consolidate the success of the scheme by establishing a National Helpline Center that will accommodate complaints, and allow farmers to contribute to the policy making and development of the sectors through enriched information from in-depth mobile phone communication system. The platform should be fortified with error detector mechanism in order to put a stop to false alert and inconsistency in redemption information as witnessed by some farmers in this study.
1.0 Background to the Study
In the last century, a revolution in the media has greatly altered communication in all
spheres of life including agricultureby providing platform for long distance communication.
These information and communication technological advances are believed to have
revolutionized the processes of one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-one, many-to-many, and also
for synchronicity of messages, thus, enhancing the range, efficiency and effectiveness of
information delivery via electronic signals (Gateway, 2010). This advancement has helped in the
projecting of development through the Internet all over the world (e-Marketer, 2013).
For more than two decades, Nigeria has been plunged into food crisis which has seriously
affected the well-being of the large sections of its population, as well weakened the cohesiveness
of the nation by increasing social and political tensions. The continued social challenges
emanating from such economic crisis has always been tackled with „reactive‟ policy initiatives
aimed at ameliorating the crises rather than eradicating them. Nigeria is presently undergoing
reformation processes with profound implications for all sectors of the economy as the country
attempts to set out plans for sustainable development
Agricultural revival strategies are one of the policies and programmes targeted at turning around
the fortunes of Nigeria‟s agricultural sector.In this regard,the revival strategies consist of
deliberate policies, measures and programmes aimed at fine-tuning activities in the sector with a
view to boosting production, eliminating corruptionand constraints to other sectors of the
economy. The current agricultural reform is in the form of microeconomic and sectorial policy
initiatives relating to specific sectors and subsector of an economy.
In the case of agriculture, Awoseyila, (1997:30) pointed out that the reform focused mainly on
the production effort therein. Furthermore, some of the reformation strategies for agriculture in
Nigeria since 2009 are either indirect via macroeconomic policy measures or direct intervention
Nigeria has had a legion of agricultural revival strategies/programmes, perhaps in
apparent recognition of the strategic role of the sector in the country‟s developmental aspirations.
In the 1960s, most of the strategies were initiated within the framework of a series of periodic
National Economic Development Plans before the adoption of the Structural Adjustment
Programme and Rolling Plans in the 1980s. These were targeted at key areas, including
infrastructure provisions, extension services, input supply, credit and marketing (Balogun&Otu
It should be noted that these strategies were largely influenced by the agricultural policy
objectives, the macroeconomic management and the framework in existence. For instance, prior
to the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), the disposition favoured direct government
participation in the production efforts of the sector. At inception in 1986, SAP was guided by a
new philosophy that regarded agricultural production as a private sector business. Eyo (1997:47)
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