Soil testing campaign in Kenya

Soil testing campaign in Kenya

Back in 2017, AgroCares released the scanner technology for the first time in Kenya. Since then, Kenya is a key country showing market response regarding AgroCares technology.

Since January 2020, 5,873 soil analyses were performed in Kenya with the AgroCares Scanner and 1,806 soil analyses with the Lab-in-a-Box. SoilCares Foundation conducted a survey by calling 42 farmers that benefited from soil analysis to better understand who they are and what where the impacts of AgroCares technology. Below are the results of this survey.

Who are the farmers?

The farmers are from many different regions all over Kenya and most of them are smallholder farmers, the average farm size being 1,65 acres. The crops grown by these farmers are numerous. Most common crops grown on the fields that were tested are coffee, maize and potatoes. A strong characteristic of these farmers is that 90% of them had never tested their soils.

This shows that the AgroCares Scanner reaches many smallholder farmers that have never tested their soils before.

Do the soil tests result in changes of agricultural practices?

A soil test brings value to the farmers through its interpretation into a soil fertility recommendation. Despite the Covid-19 situation that impacted some of the interviewed farmers, our survey showed that 55% of them changed their agricultural practices after the soil analyses. The most common changes are the use of a different fertilizer and an increased use of lime and of organic manure.

 

Having a majority of farmers changing practices after a soil test is a big success for us. Very often, a soil fertility report does not impact smallholder practices because of lack of interpretation of the results. This survey shows that the scanner closes the “interpretation gap”.

What is the impact of the soil analysis?

The average yield evolution reported by farmers that followed the recommendation is a yield increase by 86%. Considering that 59% of the farmers who tested their soils plan to pay for another soil test in the coming year, this reveals a great long-lasting impact of AgroCares scanner in Kenya.