smallscale farming

By Oscar

“To be a successful farmer one must first know the nature of the soil.” – Xenophon, Oeconomicus, 400 B.C.

James Mbogo is a farmer at heart. For 7 seven years now he’s been tilling his one acre farm at Ngare Ndare in Meru County. Onions is his favorite crop. And for a while now he’s been harvesting 2 tons of onions. But James is hungry. He’s hungry for more. Deep down he knows he can do better than 2 tons. And what he needs is more knowledge.

James embarked on a quest to learn more on how to improve his onion production. This quest took him to Wambugu Field Day – an farmers’ exhibition in Nyeri in 2017. It’s at the Wambugu Field Day that James met CropNuts Daktari wa Udongo John Kariuki. (Daktari wa Udongo is Swahili word for “Soil Doctor”)

Soil sampling

CropNuts Daktari wa Udongo John Kariuki (left) helping a farmers take a soil sample in Meru County, Kenya

According to John Kariuki, farming success starts when you understand what is in your soil. To understand your soil you’ve got to ask yourself: what nutrients does my soil contain? What soil nutrients are in excess? What soil nutrients are lacking? And how do I correct my soil nutrient imbalance? Answers to these questions are easily solved through a soil test.

“We’ve realized a lot of farms here in Meru have soil nutrient imbalance” explains Daktari wa Udongo John. “When I met James we immediately did a soil test on his farm and implemented the soil fertility correction recommendations to balance the soil nutrients on his farm.”

The Result

James is now more than a happy farmer. His journey to know more and improve his onion production has borne fruit. As a result of the soil test, his production has more than doubled from 2 tons to 4.5 tons of onions per acre. And that is even not enough. daktari wa Udongo John is still walking with farmer James helping him achieve the possible target of 16 tons of onion per acre..

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About Daktari wa Udongo

Daktari wa udongo

Daktari wa Udongo is CropNuts’ soil testing and fertilizer advisory service for small scale farmers. The main objective of the the service is to deliver timely and integrated fertilizer recommendations to the smallholder farmer by SMS, which gives them the knowledge and advice to improve their crop yields.

By utilizing this service and following through with the recommendations given, small holder farmers are able to improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of their farms. To find the Daktari wa Udongo agent in your region, please click here