SoilCares leader of the CROPMON project

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CROPMON aims to provide smallholder farmers in Kenya with information that helps them to make improved farm management decisions during the growing season. When crop growth is non-optimal, farmers will receive alert messages based on near real-time satellite imaging.

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Using a variety of spatial data layers such as actual weather data, soil analysis data and farm data, the most likely factors that could limit crop growth are determined. This info is then used to make comprehensible, farm and crop specific recommendations for farmer practices, which are returned to farmers via SMS and/or a mobile app.

To reach the project goals and to establish a successful informtion service, the activities covered in the project range from:

  • the setup of experimenta plots, data collection and callibration of scientific models, to;
  • the development of an IT-platform and data warehouse to support the backend of the service, to;
  • extensive promotion, training and capacity building to create awareness, acceptability and usability of the service.

A farmer will pay for the use of the service. The costs per information message received will be in the order of 10-100 KSh. In addition, opportunities are explored to sell data to aggregators such as (local) governments, banks, insurance companies, fertiliser industry and agro-dealers.

The project focuses on farmers and their crops of coffee, maize, grass and sorghum in the southwestern part of Kenya. The aim is to have 150,000 farmers subscribed to the CROPMON information service.

Having a rich pool of scientific knowledge for development of the technology as well as a solid basis for the rollout and implementation of the service in the field, the CROPMON partnership is capable to deliver an information service that will improve livelihoods of farmers across Kenya. The partnership consists of:

  • Dutch partners Springg BV, NEO BV, Weather Impact BV
  • Kenyan partners: Cereal Growers Association (CGA), Coffee Management Services (CMS), Equity Group Foundation (EGF), International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) and SoilCares Ltd

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