SoilCares officer shows farmers how a soil testing scanner works. PHOTO BY SOILCARES.
Farmers can know soil analysis results in three hours after sampling after SoilCares Limited introduced mobile testing services in collaboration with online marketing platform, OLX.
This would help the farmers make informed decisions in real time ahead of planting or application of fertilisers for increased harvests.
In the usual Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Organisation, KALRO, it takes more than five days for farmers to get analysis results.
But in the new arrangement, at least 50 farmers collect samples from various points-at a depth of about 25cm- before drying and mixing the soil for testing. When ready, they call the SoilCares.
Soil testing is a key component in crop production because it helps farmers identify mineral nutrient deficiency for appropriate remedy.
The analysis profiles the soil against presence and absence of micro and macro nutrients.
The SoilCares agronomist, who is part of the mobile laboratory crew, gives recommendations to the farmers based on the results.
The service costs about Sh1,300.
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At the same time, the soil PH can be addressed only if testing is done. PH is the acidity or alkalinity of a substance, like soil. Most micro and macro elements re found in slightly acidity to neutral soils, hence high yields.
In the SoilCares and OLX partnership, Kilimo Smart shops have been opened in Nyandarua and Nakuru to deliver the laboratory services in real time.
OLX manager Peter Ndiang’gui said the expansion will continue into food basket zones.
The shops were preceded by a short message service market for Irish potato farmers.
SoilCares Ltd can be reached on +254728970136