As part of a partnership with the Dutch organization Agrocares BV (Cropmon project), CGA tested several decision support tools for corn and wheat producers between 2017 and 2019. These involved mobile soil scanners to test soil composition and adjust fertilization. They were associated with a messaging system that mobilized weather data, soil maps and crop calendars and sent SMS messages providing technical advice. CGA registered more than 80,000 farmers in its geolocation database and made it possible to test the effectiveness of the proposed solutions in real life.
The technical advice sent by SMS did not really convince users, as the models used were not yet sufficiently adapted to local contexts. On the other hand, the soil analysis and weather reports were very much appreciated by the producers. The Cropmon project ended without having enabled Agrocares to find a stable economic model. Following this trial, CGA decided to look for providers in Kenya who would be able to provide these services at preferential rates for its members.
Christopher Koech, a farmer in Narok County says, “Before, I relied on what the ‘elite’ farmers were doing. I thought only very good farmers had weather forecasting systems and I finally realized that wasn’t the case. I made a lot of mistakes. With Cropmon, I stopped making decisions based on assumptions. I plan my farm operations better. I’ve become more productive. »