Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu | Smallholders Foundation
Fellows work to maximize the impact of their ideas through design. They work through a systematic process driven by the five elements of scalability: real impact, big bang for the buck, lasting behavior change, easy replication, and the right path to scale. Fellows participate in the program for two years, working through several design iterations.
THE IDEA: Smallholders Foundation
Delivering smallholder farmers the information they need to succeed: a popular radio station for farmers that broadcasts agricultural and environmental techniques and markets
HOW IT WORKS
- Analyze regional farmers’ needs, markets, and available resources
- Create engaging and information-dense radio content
- Find commercial and NGO partners who want to reach audience
- Organize Farmer Listener Clubs to catalyze action and serve as ongoing focus groups
- Expand via existing and new radio broadcasting coverage
THE PERSON: Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu
Nnaemeka Ikegwuono is a rural development worker now using radio to reach into rural Nigeria
As a young rural development worker, Nnaemeka saw the daunting problems and remarkable opportunities of Nigeria’s agriculture first-hand. Realizing the power of radio to reach a far-flung rural population he established a community radio station for smallholder farmers staffed by smallholder farmers in Imo State, Nigeria.
75% of the poorest people in the world are farmers who have been bypassed by the Green Revolution, the emergence of global markets, and the spread of microfinance. Knowing that the biggest missing piece in his native Nigeria is simply information, Nnamaeka Ikegwuonu started a radio station to deliver agricultural extension in a way that is accessible and entertaining. The "Smallholders Foundation" currently reaches an estimated 250,000 small farmer listeners with timely and engaging content that helps them make their farms more profitable. Early outcome data suggest an outsize impact from the broadcasts, and his break-even financial model opens the path to big scale. Given the ubiquitous presence of radio, the kind of material produced by Nnamaeka and his talented crew could dramatically improve the lot of farmers throughout Africa and beyond.