Director SoilCares Foundation says goodbye, with a smile
Per March 1, 2021 SoilCares Foundation’ director Christy van Beek will take up a new opportunity. Leaving SoilCares Foundation isn’t easy, she says, but she is proud of what has been achieved and looks back at more than 4 exciting years.
“When I started in 2017, AgroCares (which at that time was still called SoilCares) was just ready to release the first Scanner to the market”. SoilCares Foundation, with support of Rabobank Foundation facilitated the market introduction through the “Scanning for Success” project. In this project the first 165 Scanners were introduced to the Kenyan market at subsidized price. “I will never forget how we brought the first Scanner to Tanyikina cooperative, it was such an amazing experience. Now, for the first time in history farmers could actually test their soils on the spot”. Dr Christy van Beek explains how since then SoilCares Foundation has been working on increasing the acceptance of the innovation. “Introducing an innovation never goes by itself, we all have to get used to it”. To accelerate the acceptance and adoption of the innovation, several projects, surveys and impact studies were conducted together with partners like Solidaridad, GIZ, MercyCorps, iSDA, Agriterra and Rabobank Foundation. “I am grateful for all the support we received”, Christy says, “by now, every day more than 200 farmers test their soil, every day! Of course, it never goes as fast as we want, but looking back to what is achieved in 4 years, it is really mind-blowing. Soil testing using NIR spectroscopy was still in its infancy when I started and now it is a well accepted technology”. Christy smiles, she is still enthusiastic about the innovation. Yet, she will take up a new opportunity by March 1, 2021. As she said, soil testing with NIR spectroscopy becomes mainstream, her task seems to be achieved.
Christy's role as director of SoilCares Foundation will be taken over by Henri Hekman.