Important lessons from new tailor-made services for smallholder farmers

A.G.T. Schut, Keiji Jindo, J.W.A. Langeveld, M. Rijerse, L. Munika, P. Matyoko

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperAcademic


Mobile phone technology enables farmers to share information and receive tailor-made advice on farming practices. The objective of this work is to evaluate farmer perspectives on tailor-made services for improved on-farm nutrient application on smallholder farms in Western Kenya and Northern Tanzania. The service included agronomic advice and delivery of blended NPK fertilizer and hybrid maize seeds on credit. Advice on NPK fertilizer was based on best available geo-information in combination with a field quality assessment of the farmer. Pre- and post-season interviews were held with farmers in 46 villages in Northern Tanzania and Western Kenya. Soil samples were analysed and grain yields were measured in demarked plots. Impacts of the service on food self-sufficiency were evaluated by comparisons with a group of control farmers without tailored and farmers who received the service. Application of blended fertilizers increased grain weights when compared to plots without fertilizer. There were, however, no significant differences between farmers receiving tailored services and the to control group who often used fertilizers from other sources. We conclude that the technology might help to improve farm productivity, but only when combined with a complete agronomic package including pest control, local demonstrations and support of local agents or extension officers in environments where farmers have been exposed to hybrid seed and fertilizer.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSymposium Proceedings 13th European International Farming Systems Association (IFSA) Symposium
Subtitle of host publicationFarming systems: facing uncertainties and enhancing opportunities
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event13th European IFSA Symposium - Chania, Greece
Duration: 1 Jul 20185 Jul 2018


Conference13th European IFSA Symposium
Internet address


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