By Oscar Adika
Does soil testing really work? Laban Kirimi, a French beans (commonly known as Mishiri) farmer in Meru, put soil analysis to the test and we have the results..
When Laban first tested his soil, he was very enthusiastic to see what the outcome will be. He was eager to see how that investment in soil analysis will bring a profitable return to his farming.
Laban has grown French Beans/Mishiri for 7 years now and this is the first time he’s testing his soil. He once stopped growing French Beans for a while after experiencing consistent declining yields over the years. Seeking to revive profitable yields once again, Laban sort to give soil testing a try.
Demo Plot Trial
Being the shrewd farmer he is, he divided his land into two plots: “Plot A” where he planted his French beans the way he has always done i.e with DAP fertilizer. And “Plot B” where he followed the CROPNUTS recommendations detailed in his soil report
Laban had effectively created a demo plot “trial” to measure the effectiveness of the soil testing. Below is a simple sketch of what he did on both plots:LABAN Trial results
When we visited Laban’s farm, he had already started harvesting the French beans or mishiri on Plot B. Meanwhile the mishiri on Plot A wasn’t ready yet for harvesting. CROPNUTS soil analysis recommendations of the correct fertilizer inputs gave the French beans on Plot B optimum nutrition that boosted the crop’s growth and maturity. This explains why he was doing his second harvest on Plot B while Plot A wasn’t ready for harvest yet.
“Ile upande nilitumia recommendations ya CROPNUTS nimeanza kuvuna tayari. Na mishiri upande hio iko juu sana kwa vile navuna 720kgs per acre na gharama imeshuka”
(“The plot where I used CROPNUTS recommendations is ready for harvesting already. The French beans growing on that side is very healthy and my harvest amount is 720kg per acre. The cost of production on that side is also lower”) – Laban, French Beans (mishiri) farmer, Meru County, Kenya
Watch Laban’s Full Story
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