Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, January 3, 2011

Smallholders Farmers Rural Radio wins The WISE Awards 2010

Qatar Foundation and the WISE Awards International Jury have announced the Laureate of The WISE Awards for the project: The Smallholders Farmers Rural Radio (Farm FM 98.0)!

Initiated in 2009, the WISE Awards identify, monitor and promote remarkable and innovative educational projects from around the world. Their application was selected from hundreds of applications originating from 89 countries and all regions of the world. Designed to reward, showcase and support outstanding and innovative educational projects from across the world and from all educational sectors, the WISE Awards 2010 examined applications under the theme of Transforming Education: Investment, Innovation and Inclusion.

Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu

The Smallholders Farmers Rural Radio (Farm 98.0 FM)

The Smallholders FoundationNigeria





About Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu

Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu, a leading social entrepreneur, is Executive Director of The Smallholders Foundation, a social development organisation he founded in 2003, when he was 21. Through Smallholder Farmers Rural Radio, he develops and broadcasts daily agricultural, environmental management and market information radio programmes in the local Igbo language. He has participated in numerous international forums, is a member of many professional organisations and has won a number of awards for his work, including the YouthActionNet/Starbucks Shared Planet Youth Award 2009 and the Rolex Award for Enterprise–Young Laureates Program 2010.

The project

The Smallholders Farmers Rural Radio broadcasts educational radio programmes on crop cultivation, livestock rearing and soil management 10 hours a day in the local Igbo Language to inform and educate its 250,000 small-farmer listeners and improve their agricultural, environmental management and market access capacity.

The educational radio programmes cover erosion and flooding control, farm and household management, food safety, nutrition, HIV/AIDS, agriculture, combating malaria and farm safety. They also deal with such topics as application of fertilisers, pesticides and insecticides; rainwater harvesting; treadle pumps; and small scale irrigation management. Illiterate small farmers learn about methods for accessing hybrid seeds, reaching national and international markets, export documentation, and accessing finance and microcredit facilities. A question and answer service replies to questions sent in by farmers and allows them to share experiences with one another. 

The station also helps poor farmers by broadcasting information on basic business skills such as market research, cost-benefit analysis, business planning, opening bank accounts, and keeping accurate accounts and store records.

The programmes help smallholders decide what, when and how to produce crops, and who they should produce them for. They have access to daily commodity prices to help them decide which market to go to and when, and, thanks to information on the export process, they are already tapping into the international market. The household income of 65% of the station’s listeners has risen, and they have increased their crop output. The educational programmes have also helped reduce soil degradation and conserve wood resources.

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