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Improving soybean production using innovative digital and extension approaches.

Year: January 2020 – June 2021

Country/Area: Kenya

Client: Innovate UK/DFID


The project was implemented by a consortium led by CABI-UK where KT was in charge of business and market linkages component targeting 30,000 peri-urban farmers.

The project’s proposition was that farmers’ livelihoods can be improved by bringing together an integrated suite of services which provides 3 value propositions:

  1. access to technical information (models and alerts) derived from recently initiated Earth Observations (EO) and ground-based sensors, of precisely when (and where) their soy bean crop is most at risk of attacks which exceed the threshold of economic damage, combined with objective, actionable advice about how to control the pest using an IPM-based approach sourced from the CABI-led Plantwise programme;
  2. comprehensive social support enabling men and women to engage with a high worth value chain in their nearby urban markets, delivered through a partner package comprised of micro-finance loans with which to buy inputs, insurance to cover the risk of losses due to weather and pests, and a pre-contracted up-take processor for their soy bean crop who will accept their produce at a pre-set price, giving some certainty of income; and
  3. detailed information on good agricultural practices, appropriate climate smart approaches, risk management advice and business training.

The aim of the project was to help farmers produce more, more efficiently, and to transform women’s groups to a commercial level where they can transact like an SME.

The goal was to supply trusted EO pest forecasts which will help farmers decide to spray at an optimal time, thereby maximising yield and quality within economically sensible parameters.

What was achieved:

  1. 3,988 smallholder farmers benefited from the project.
  2. Criteria for selecting lead farmers developed and put to use.
  3. 99 group leaders trained on governance, leadership, and financial sustainability.
  4. 53 learning sites have been established and Climate Smart (CS) technologies demonstrated.
  5. 3,988 farmers trained on production, CSA, Postharvest, and aflatoxin management.
  6. 209 (65 male and 144 female) producers have placed their orders for soyabeans seeds in the long rains 2021.
  7. In partnership with Farm Africa, farmers are taught regeneration agriculture that is assisting them to conserve their environment.
  8. 3,153 farmers test crop insurance in partnership with Acre Africa
  9. 122 farmers accessed loans worth $15,000 from Juhudi Kilimo Micro-finance.
  10. 54 local agrovets, aggregation centers and community seed bulkers identify and strengthen through trainings and linkages.
  11. 177 Village-based Extension Service Providers (VESP) trained by the project to reach their fellow farmers.
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