Covers major agronomic decisions

AKILIMO provides advice to make smart decisions over major agronomic practises covering the following areas.

AKILIMO provides advice for good agronomic practices as a precondition to achieve the expected increase in production through investment on the farm.

These topics include the rationale of using healthy planting materials from accredited sources and how to avoid creating favourable conditions for disease spread, how to identify the right variety for your location, advice on the right density and planting method that will help manage the farm efficiently, weed control.

This advice is packaged in different formats and presented as six steps for every use case.

One of the peculiar nature of cassava, compared to cereals, is that it has a wide planting and harvest window.

The lack of site-specific information for land preparation as well as planting practises are the other major constraints limiting cassava productivity.

Therefore, advice for appropriate tillage practises regarding the use of manual versus mechanisation methods, intensity/frequency of ploughing, need for ridging, optimal plant density and planting orientation are offered as solutions to improve yield increase.

One of the peculiar nature of cassava, compared to cereals, is that it has a wide (in some locations a year-round) planting and harvest window.

However, there are substantial spatial and temporal variations in the agro-ecological factors resulting in the need to optimise planting and harvest windows.

AKILIMO provides this advice where maximum yield is possible within 4 to 8 weeks around farmers’ preferred dates. The request to optimise the harvest window originated from cassava processing industries that struggled to have year-round access to the cassava root.

Optimising the planting/harvest window helps to match the demand and supply of roots benefiting both the farmers and industry owners.

Research has shown that cassava productivity can be improved by the use of fertiliser application but the level of response varies substantially depending on the combination of crop growth factors of the location. AKILIMO offers fertiliser advice tailored to geospatial variation in soil properties, rainfall patterns and other climatic factors.

The advice is made context-relevant by factoring types of fertilisers locally available, market price matrix both for the fertilisers and crop produces, and the resourcefulness of farmers in terms of farm size, investment capacity and risk attitude.

The advice can be delivered at different resolutions ranging from being farm-specific to different levels of aggregation based on local administrative units or agro-ecological units.

The site-specific advice can be accessed using the AKILIMO mobile app which presents the advice either within the app or sends it via email or SMS message.

Advice aggregated at the administrative unit could be accessed via a dashboard, VIAMO 321 IVR or chatbot developed together with Arifu and works on SMS, WhatsApp and telegram.

The cassava/maize/sweet potato intercropping system helps farmers sustainably intensify their food production and diversify their incomes.

With this practice, farmers are strategizing to have crops to harvest within a short (3 to 4 months) and long period (8 – 15 months) after the main planting season, maximising use of their limited resources. It is however a well-known fact that not all locations are fit for intercropping.

AKILIMO evaluates the appropriateness of this practice for a specific farm/area by looking at the expected crop yield and prices and provides advice on the profitability, and where applicable the planting density of the different crops.