After four years, the CROPMON project ended last summer. It is now time to look back at the successes achieved and the challenges overcome. We also cast an outlook on the future of CROPMON.
During the last 4 years, the CROPMON partners have worked together to address Kenyan farmers’ lack of access to timely weather information and low crop productivity. As a result, a unique SMS-based information service was developed. The service provides Kenyan smallholder and medium-sized farmers with near real-time information and advice that is specific to each farm, plot, and crop type. The Cropmon service uses an integrated system of satellite, weather, and farm data to provide localized advice on crop growth, farm management, and weather conditions and can be linked to Agrocares’ soil testing technology.
Achievements of the Cropmon service
Cropmon has reached hundreds of thousands of farmers throughout the past 4 years. The work on the ground by the extension officers of the Kenyan partners has proven to be essential in linking farmers to the service and vice versa. During the project period:
196,000 individual farmers have become direct users of the Cropmon service: 130,000 maize farmers, 50,000 coffee farmers, 13,000 sugar cane farmers, 1,000 grass, 1,000 cereal wheat farmers, and 500 other crops.
Over 36,000 of those farmers have been receiving the Full Service that includes precise parcel perimeter registration by GPS. The other 160,000 farmers were registered to Basic Service (weather information).
The project has trained and educated 31,700 food producers about the Cropmon service
An online desktop platform (Portal for Cropmon) and a mobile application have been developed through which farms can be registered and monitored.
An estimated 2 million farmers have indirectly benefited from the CROPMON service through information sharing by farmers.
Tons of remote sensing data have been processed in order to facilitate the service.
Outlook for the future
In summary, a great product has been developed during the CROPMON project. Its services are well received by more than 80% of the users and highly appreciated by various stakeholders and intermediates. However, more time and resources are needed to bring that product to the market and achieve a financially sustainable business model. The Cropmon stakeholders, being the seven project partner organizations, the donor the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the funding organization Netherlands Space Office (NSO) are working together to achieve this. In order to facilitate business development, the 2SCALE program has become involved. One of their first goals is to establish clear business ownership.
More about CROPMON
The CROPMON project is funded by the Geodata for Agriculture and Water (G4AW) Facility. The project partnership consists of Agrocares, Cereal Growers Association (CGA), Coffee Management Services (CMS), Equity Group Foundation (EGF), NEO, KALRO-Sugar Research Institute (SRI) and Weather Impact. The Cropmon Project Closure Workshop was held in Nairobi, Kenya, on 20th-22nd August 2019. At this moment the future of CROPMON is still under discussion.