Farmers have one more reason to smile as they can now access financial and technical support that will see their agricultural production almost double thanks to a partnership between the Equity Group Foundation and Crop Nutrition Laboratory Services (CropNuts).
Crop Nutrition Laboratory Services (CROPNUTS) is East Africa’s leading accredited agricultural laboratory and agronomy services company.
The partnership will see farmers across the country receive soil testing services from CropNuts. A soil test commonly refers to the analysis of a soil sample to determine nutrient content, composition, and other characteristics such as the acidity or pH level. A soil test is beneficial because it informs the farmer on what inputs to use. Correct inputs will determine how much a crop yields and prevents the use of unnecessary fertilizers.
“Soil testing is something many farmers ignore yet it makes a crucial difference in how much a farmer will harvest. Soil testing will double a farmer’s yield and help them determine what soil inputs to use thus preventing the use of unnecessary fertilizers. This necessary step before planting will not only help you make more money as a farmer but it will also save you money.” – Jeremy Cordingley, Managing Director Crop Nutrition Laboratory Services
Established in 2008, Equity Group Foundation (EGF) is a not-for-profit implementing foundation based in Nairobi, Kenya that champions the social and economic transformation of the people of Africa.
The project initiated by Equity Group Foundation, has CropNuts as their soil testing partner and was piloted in Trans Nzoia, Nandi and Uasin Gishu counties but will be rolled out across the country this year after a successful first run.
The project’s aim is to impact farmers across the country by providing financial services, production capacity building through soil testing, digital tools and market and input linkages.
“The exciting thing about all this is the strong partnership and commitment to stay true to our mission to champion the transformation of lives and livelihoods through the development and implementation of innovative programmes. We are willing to walk with the farmer through the complete cycle of soil fertility correction, from training on importance of knowing soil health, how to test, result interpretation, up to linking the farmers to suppliers of recommended fertilizer.”- Jacqueline Chepkoech, the Senior Program Manager with Equity Group Foundation
So far in the pilot phase, more than 1,300 farmers have adopted soil testing technology with more than 88% of them now using recommended fertilizer according to the results of the soil testing. The farmers have also improved their farming practices in other ways such as composting and liming the soils.