Farmer Myke Gbe interviewed by RNW correspondent King James Yiye
RNW

Farmer Myke, Nigeria’s latest mobile tech guru

Myke’s use of mobile technology brings him more clients and the occasional unexpected visitor to his stock of quails, snails, geese, ducks, rabbits and fish.
"I've been able to network. I have been able to gain materially.” Myke Gbe, like many in Nigeria’s more rural areas, was long without access to the web. Now, with his two mobile phones and tablet, the farmer can take full advantage of Nigeria’s digital revolution. Which has proved very good for business.

“Things that ordinarily I wouldn't have known or things that I would probably have only learnt in school or from a library are now at my fingertips.” Myke’s Samsung Galaxy S1 has been his gateway to a new world of knowledge: the web. He uses it to look up information on quail, snails, geese, ducks, rabbits and fish. He promotes his produce through social media.

That is something relatively new in Benue, a state in the middle of Nigeria commonly referred to as the country’s food basket. Internet connection lagged and phones were long used only for their original purpose: making calls. But the digital revolution has now also engulfed the farmers of Benue. And, as Gbe exemplifies, so has the mobile revolution.

The digital revolution has now also engulfed the farmers of Benue.

Trumpet my views
“I'm better trained and better enlightened through the social media. I am able to trumpet my views and to speak for myself. From nowhere I have received calls,” says Gbe from his farm, spread over an area the size of around 15 football fields.

Farmer Myke conducting a training for young Nigerian farmers to optimise their farming and profit by using new technologies.©RNW
Farmer Myke conducting a training for young Nigerian farmers to optimise their farming and profit by using new technologies. ©RNW

 

On-the-farm training
Following RNW’s report about Gbe, he was selected by the United Nations Development Programme to conduct an on-the-farm training for young, less experienced farmers. Gbe trained 30 participants to optimise their farming and profit by using new technologies to the fullest.

Following RNW’s report about Gbe, he was selected by the United Nations Development Programme to conduct an on-the-farm training

“We are enlightened more about the breakthrough the boss [Gbe] had with his farming through social media,” says 28-year-old Mike Otache who participated. “I think it’s something I really want to go into fully now.” Being able to connect with others by mobile device seems equally crucial to Patience Kiekwe Amonger. The 27-year-old isn’t yet a practising farmer, but she’s ready to get started.

Harvest
Since Gbe had his story published, he started to harvest from it: “Ever since the first part of this interview which RNW published, I have been contacted by numerous readers from many parts of the globe. This means many quail business prospects for me. I feel quite elated!”

Listen to farmer Myke on his farm speaking about the success of using his mobile for business: “It’s wonderful.”   Nigerian_farmer_Myke_audio_interview.mp3

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