By Larrson Chebii
I started this journey as Daktari wa Udongo in the North Rift region in 2014. This was a totally new service to this region. Not many knew about Daktari wa Udongo services or what it was at all about. To be honest I myself didn’t really know much about it. This I knew was going to be a long and tough journey but I was sure that the North Rift region would soon come to embrace it and appreciate the services of Daktari wa Udongo.
The North Rift Region is a vast land under agriculture. Many farmers here are doing Maize in Large scale. Some are doing wheat, barley and hay grass. To me this was my ideal place where I saw growth and potential. Having grown mainly in the North Rift region, I felt a sense of security and assurance.
In The Beginning
I was eager to make an impact and somehow upgrade the farming practices of the local farmers around me.
I started off with my auger and bucket, visiting familiar farms as an ordinary local young man fresh from the University. I was eager to make an impact and somehow upgrade the farming practices of the local farmers around me. Explaining to the farmer why there was need to test their soil was a game of chess.
Convincing them was a task not many could manage but with the idea of increasing their yields and even a possibility of doubling their yields is what had them in the bag. My starting was small. There were days I got no soil samples at all in my first month. I had to do better and fast. I had to gain ground and get more farmers’ farms in shape. So I decided to teach instead.
Teaching farmers about the soil and how soil testing works to produce better yields was my way in. Providing the farmers with the relevant information on ways they could grow more for less and leaving them to make the decision seemed to be working great.
Improving Farmers’ Lives
“Wewe Daktari wa Udongo kuja chukua mchanga pima. Mimi nataka kuvuna zaidi,” said Mr. Kiplimo – my very first client after my first session at a farmers field day in Kilgoris.
Finally my first client. The vision of Daktari wa Udongo was now starting to come through. Mr. Kiplimo was so happy at the better yields he got after the soil test that he gave me a sack of maize from his first harvest. He got 18 sacks up from his kawaida 10 sacks. Golden times this were. I did good, Daktari wa Udongo was the saviour for the small farmers in my region. The word spread and many called the soil doctor to take samples for testing.
Soon I landed my first large scale farmer of 100 acres of maize. Daktari wa Udongo never disappointed. I have grown with Daktari wa Udongo . Learning more each day. Learning that it isn’t about only getting samples for testing and bringing the results to the farmers, but walking with them after. Showing them how to correct their soils and correctly applying the fertilizers. Reminding them that timing is crucial in every stage of farming.
More Than Just A Soil Testing Service
Daktari wa Udongo service isn’t about only getting samples for testing and bringing the results to the farmers, but walking with them after.
Today I am proud to say that Daktari wa Udongo service is 20 years old . Transforming the lives of small scale farmers with just a simple but necessary soil test. We are not yet done with North Rift. We have plenty in store . We are introducing Agronomy Training and services to the farmers with 200 acres and above for a start. This means Daktari wa Udongo is pitching camp in these farms from harvest to harvest leaving nothing to chance. Mr. Kiplimo is now hitting 34 sacks an acre by the way.
Great times ahead. Looking forward to the adventure. And improving farmers’ lives everyday.
That’s me Larrson Chebii – Daktari wa Udongo, NorthRift Region
About 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