Once a reluctant participant in growing crops of the Nigerian state of Imo, Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu has become an integral part of it10 years
Ikegwuonu, Nnaemeka hated working on the farm of his parents. I could not play with other children and he did not like getting dirty. But I liked listening to the radio, the only means of communication with the outside world.
In a twist of fate, Ikegwuonu now not only a small farmer in Imo State in Nigeria, but also lead to the advertiser on a radio station that broadcasts information on best agricultural practices for small farmers, who make 70% of the agricultural sector in Nigeria.
Ikegwuonu The burly, 29, raises chickens, rabbits and lawn mowers - a rodent as a giant rat - and yams and cassava on his farm in one acre. But his main occupation is on Smallholders Foundation and radio station, small farmers in radio. The station broadcasts 10 hours a day, with public participation via SMS, letters and phone calls. The operation is supported by the sale of airtime to local governments, churches and grassroots organizations.
last year won the Rolex Ikegwuonu Initiative, worth $ 50 000, and he was in London this week for the 35th anniversary of the awards.More
tea at the Hotel Kensington, Ikegwuonu - not to wear a Rolex watch that he won, and kept in a safe in Nigeria - explained the reasons behind his company, which is comparable to agriculture today, the program of the BBC Radio 4 for farmers and insomniacs in the UK.
"When I left school and worked for an NGO that works with farmers and HIV, I ended up fascinated by the problems of farmers and also brought back childhood memories , "he said." My boss told me to do something in agriculture and started a nonprofit for 21 that combines my passion for agriculture and my ambitions in journalism. I soon discovered that the information does not reach the rural population. They have TV and radio batteries is your library in the world, the only way to get information. "Obitti
station in the city - an hour's flight from Lagos - the local government area Ohaji / Egbema in Imo State, reaches about 250,000 listeners every day. Last year the prize money went to more transmitter and a high radio tower. Ikegwuonu is the radio station of lead, which has four radio stations and five full-time.
"Radio is based on interactivity, the auditor is aware," he said. "We have sent information and return to update their knowledge for all."
"We had a program on the health of farmers and 70% of responses on the body pain," said Ikegwuonu. "Listeners have complained about the short hoe caused back pain and asked if we could do something. They said they needed agricultural tools to reduce pain, and they spent money to relieve pain. "
The answer was simple: a spade, and so farmers do not have to fall. Next year, Ikegwuonu is the introduction of a long hoe, developed with a local carpenter, which costs less than $ 8 for groups of farmers.
"The simplest ideas can solve the great challenges," said Ikegwuonu, who also believes in locally applicable solutions. One is the exchange of seeds, which, for example, a farmer can exchange their white corn seeds for another seed of yellow corn, eliminating the need for a more science-based.
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