In May 2018, Open Institute, a recipient of the Africa Lead/CAADP Non-State Actors Coalition (CNC) Small Grants Program, launched activities aiming to train farmers in Nakuru North on collecting agricultural-based data via mobile phones. The goal of the project is to improve the competitiveness of farmers and agribusiness in the region and the awareness of citizen- generated agricultural data. Open Institute is working closely with local county chiefs and farmers to sensitize mobile data collection and how data can be used to support local farms, and its alignment to Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) priorities and the Sustainable Development Goals. On 9 July 2018, representatives from CNC reviewed implementation of Open Institute’s data collection activities in Bahati North, Bibinioni, Chania and Kirima locations of Nakuru.
During the field visit, the team visited data collection clusters, 20-30 farmer households, in each sub- location. Cluster leaders in each location are responsible for collecting data from farmers via the Open Institute mobile application. Data collection points focus on agricultural inputs and outputs, livelihoods, water and sanitation, and education, targeting farmers growing fruits and vegetables and raising livestock. Agricultural challenges expressed by farmers included: a lack of access to financial resources and credit to purchase modern agricultural inputs, a lack of storage and processing facilities for produce, little to no communication with Kenya extension services, and water scarcity due to changes in rainfall.
After the data collection phase is completed, Open Institute will hold a data collection fair and final meeting with government officials to develop a memorandum of issues and actions. Africa Lead and CNC will continue supporting Open Institute through providing technical management and communications support to achieve milestone-based activities under the small grants program.