2010 Young Laureate, Applied Technology
Nigeria, Born 1982
Empowering Farmers through Interactive Radio
Over 90 per cent of Nigeria's population of 150 million survives on less than US$2 per day. Millions of those living below the poverty line are small farmers, many of them cut off from vital sources of information that could help them improve their farming methods and raise their living standards. Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu wants to build on the achievements of his Smallholders Foundation which is already broadcasting 10 hours daily to 250,000 listeners on Smallholders Farmers Rural Radio. His goal is to establish a communications network reaching 3.5 million farmers in almost 5,000 villages in his own region, Imo State, in south-east Nigeria.
Not only will farmers receive advice on a wide range of topics from sustainable farming practices to HIV/Aids and opening and running a bank account, but also they will be able to contribute information, thanks to interactive mobile radios, known as AIR devices. These small, solar-powered machines allow listeners to send voice messages, free of charge, to radio stations, which can broadcast them. Imo State's farmers will have a platform to share experiences, ask questions and receive answers in their own language. Ikegwuonu's long-term ambition is to extend the service to other regions of his country.
listeners reached through Smallholders Farmers Rural Radio
the number of listeners Nnaemeka plans to reach by extending the interactive radio network to the rest of Nigeria
percentage of Nigeria's population that survives on less than US$2 per day