NOW FOR SOME GOOD NEWS: DOUBLING YIELDS!
A 250% increase in yields of green grams results in increased returns for smallholder farmers and demonstrates the capacity of digital.
Mung beans/Green Grams
In Kenya, smallholder farmers conventionally achieve 100 kilograms of mung beans per acre. This season, they achieved 250 kilograms per acre.
How did returns increase by 2.5x?
Business for Development has harnessed farm management software, SourceTrace, to monitor and evaluate the Kwale Agribusiness Program in Kwale, Kenya. This software fosters communication between field agents, agronomists, and farmers. Our field agents input real-time data about the green gram crops and the farmers then received information on how to look after their crops and disease prevention methods, prior to the loss of yields.
Technologies (digital and agricultural innovations) can help stimulate innovation for sustainable agri-food systems, create employment for young people within the agricultural sector, promote economic activity, and enhance food security. In this case of green grams, for example, utilising technology led to increased employment opportunities for young people in the local area. Eleven field agents, average age 20 years old, were hired by B4D to connect with local farmers, input data, and offer support to farmers based on the agronomists’ advice. Through applying expertise grounded in local knowledge and understanding the needs of people in-country, B4D uses technologies to reach more people with proven approaches that improve their knowledge, skills, incomes, and opportunities.
What does this outcome mean?
At B4D, we see technologies as a vehicle for propelling and accelerating farmers out of poverty towards a new horizon of sustainable livelihoods. Before deploying technical solutions, we analyse the entire system to see how technology can lead to better outcomes.
This great case of green grams demonstrates that through the use of applying technologies, we can improve yields, reduce food insecurity and meet market demand while harnessing the power of the youth.