10,000 soil tests have now been made with the AgroCares Scanner. Kedy Ndida has performed the 10,000th soil test with AgroCares Scanner in Africa on behalf of Meru Central Coffee Cooperative Union (MCCCU) for farmer Peninah Gacheri. With AgroCares scanner and the SoilCares Adviser Africa app advisers can test pH level, soil fertility levels and receive practical recommendations on lime and fertilizers within 10 minutes. With this practical information (smallholder) farmers have improved their soil fertility and were able to sustainably increase yields. First feedback from advisers and smallholder farmers showed yield increases from 40% and higher.
MCCCU sees large increase in coffee production
MCCCU alone has been delivering more than 1500 soil tests to their members in the past year, so the chances were high for them to do the 10.000th scan. MCCCU has five scanners which are active in this union and have shown to serve up to 200 farmers per week. The Cooperative documented an increase in coffee production from 150 to 410 tons of coffee, last year, since following up the recommendations of the AgroCares Scanner. Eric Munene, extension manager at MCCCU: “Soil testing has proven to be an effective way to take knowledge in our own hands and increase coffee production.”
Income from coffee used to ensure school of children
The farmer who received the soil test was Peninah Gacheri. She is a 34-year old widow with 3 children. Her farm produces coffee for the Kathera Coffee Cooperative, and additionally she has two cows. She uses the income from her farm to sustain her family and to ensure school to give her children a future. Peninah was convinced to do the soil test by her fellow farmers and the board of the cooperative. Many farmers at Kathera have been doing soil tests in the previous season.
Scanners funded by Rabobank Foundation and AgriTerra
MCCCU has been enabled to buy AgroCares Scanners and SoilCares Adviser Africa licenses by Rabobank Foundation and AgriTerra.