Farmers are tripling yield through better soil health and premium crop nutrition
In the last four years, Kenyan maize farmer Philip Kipkorir has tripled his yield and improved the soil health on his fields. His farm has become a prime example destination for farmers who want to learn more about agronomy.
Kipkorir lives with his wife and three children in the North Rift part of Kenya, in the region of Kongasis. Near his farm lies a Yara Center of Excellence. The center works with farmers to share agronomic knowledge and provide solutions that improve yield. The program is led by Yara agronomists.
Better practices for better results
Kipkorir explains that by collaborating with Yara, he has improved his farming practices. His crop has become more resilient to drought, which is an increasing challenge due to climate change.
– “Together, we have focused on three things in particular. How to plant, how to use fertilizers, and when to apply the product. Just with these three simple steps, I went from 15-20 bags per acre in the first year to 40-45 bags per acre four years later. My next goal is to reach 50 bags,” says Kipkorir.
Changing to more regenerative farming practices and better fertilizers have been crucial to improving soil health and increasing yields. Until recently, the soil was continuously ploughed, leaving it depleted of minerals.
– “The previous fertilizers we used were highly acidifying and had no micronutrients. Our yields were low. Farmers were losing hope because of famine. Yara's fertilizers are less acidifying and much better for the soil and the environment. The pH value in the soil is now significantly better – I can really see a difference,” says Kipkorir.
“I used to get 15 bags of maize per acre. Now, the yield is 45. That is the difference between poverty and a good life.”
Knowledge sharing across the region
In collaboration with Yara, Kipkorir has arranged visits to his farm to share inspiration and knowledge on improving yield with other farmers. The first visit was arranged during the tussling stage of maize production, and the other one during the grain filling stage. About 500 local farmers have showed up on each of Kipkorir’s field days.
– “With about 4000 farmers in the region, it is safe to say that the cooperation with Yara’s Center of Excellence has really increased the living standard not just for my family, but for the whole region,” he says. “We used to be poor and didn't think our kids could go to school. Because of the yield increase, my children can now go to school, have proper clothes, and have a better future,” says Kipkorir.
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