AgroCares and DigiFarm have committed to work together to help smallholder farmers test their soils in Kenya.
This year, a pilot project lead by DigiFarm brings AgroCares technology to selected pilot counties in Eastern, Rift and the greater western regions of Kenya. It will create awareness and demand for soil testing and enable Kenyan farmers to benefit from the Scanner and know their soil status instantly. This service will be available on the DigiFarm platform shortly.
Most Kenyan smallholder farmers have never tested their soils
In Kenya, around 5% of the farmers test their soils. Most farmers do not take into account the exact composition of their soils when they purchase their seeds and fertilizers. As a consequence, suboptimal use is made of fertilizers which leads to spillage and economic losses. Instead, fertilizers choice (both type and amount) should be based on soil status, crop type and expected yield levels. In this way, farmers can make best use of nutrients and get higher return on their fertilizer investment.
The AgroCares Scanner
It is impossible to manage what you do not measure, and reliable soil tests are inaccessible for most Kenyan farmers. When available, they are often too expensive and the delay between the sampling and the result is too long for the farmers to make good interpretations.
DigiFarm as part of AgroCares service provider network will bring an affordable, quick and easy-to-use technology for smallholder farmers to test their soil: The AgroCares Scanner.
To pursue its mission to transform the lives of smallholder farmers by turning their farming into a profitable business, DigiFarm offers multiple services including soil testing and reduces costs, risk, and drives uptake for these services.
“Our wish is to convert agriculture into a decision-based activity whereby all farmers test their soils before purchasing their fertilizers”
Fredrick Kiio – Safaricom head of M-Agri Business
DigiFarm takes up Soil Scanners and reaches farmers through its DigiFarm Village Advisors (DVAs) network. Thanks to the AgroCares online Portal and the DigiFarm Platform, DigiFarm will monitor changes in crop production triggered by tailored soil testing recommendations.
“We are excited to welcome DigiFarm in our service provider network. Together with all our partners we will increase the impacts of our technology and allow us to help more Kenyan farmers.”
Christy van Beek – Chief Agronomist AgroCares
DigiFarm is developed by Safaricom, the largest telecommunications provider in Kenya. It is Safaricom’s integrated mobile-based platform for digital services tailored for smallholder farmers. DigiFarm’s platform model is designed as a marketplace for farmers to access products and services from financial institutions, agri-input providers, and other value-added service firms, enabling farmers to easily source, transact, learn, and grow.