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 In GeoPoll Survey Reports, International Development Research, Tech & Innovation

18,000 Farmers Available to Take Mobile Surveys in Africa

GeoPoll is pleased to announce the launch of its new farmer panel in Kenya, consisting of over 18,000 farmers who are ready to take GeoPoll surveys. Agricultural research organizations, international and local NGOs, governments, donors, and consumer companies can collect insights directly from individual farmers and use this information to improve farmer outcomes and grow profit margins. GeoPoll’s initial farmer panel in Kenya has been recruited over the past two months through a partnership with MediaE – who create educational information for farmers through media including radio, TV, and print – and Kenyan agricultural TV show Shamba Shape Up. GeoPoll plans to expand our farmer recruitment efforts to additional countries over the coming months – to learn more about our country coverage or partner with us, please contact us.

Conducting Mobile Surveys with Farmers

Conducting surveys of farmers has been a topic of interest for many of GeoPoll’s partners, due to the wide-ranging effects of agriculture on local livelihoods, national economies, and related industries in the agricultural value chain. Smallholder farmers, those who farm on small plots without much external labor, are an incredibly important part of producing the crops we rely on across the globe, but it can be hard for governments, NGOs, and companies to reach these farmers and gain knowledge about their farming practices. This is especially true when they are located in rural areas, as is the case for many farmers across Sub-Saharan Africa.

GeoPoll has previously worked with organizations including CIMMYT, IFPRI, and Farm Radio International to survey farmers who grow specific crops, and we are excited to expand this effort by recruiting farmers in Kenya who are ready to take GeoPoll’s mobile surveys. Organizations can set up a one-time survey or regular, recurring surveys with GeoPoll’s farmer panel to gather ongoing data on weather patterns, land preparation growth progress, crop or input prices, and more.

GeoPoll can employ its full suite of mobile survey modes to reach its farmer panel, including SMS surveys, voice calls (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing or Interactive Voice Response), or online survey modes such as mobile web or mobile application. Using the GeoPoll mobile application, farmers can upload pictures to demonstrate crop progress based on the use of different seeds or fertilizers and can access other tools such as GeoPoll community polls, where app users can ask each other questions. Organizations with existing farmer databases can also use GeoPoll’s platform to engage with them via one- or two-way messages.

Data on Agriculture in Kenya

As part of this launch, GeoPoll will release an in-depth examination of our survey results on agriculture in Kenya, based on responses from over 900 respondents on a wide range of topics. The survey information areas include preferred crop types, use of inputs such as fertilizer and seeds, information on where crops are sold, external factors affecting yield, and insights into the biggest challenges facing farmers in Kenya today. The survey has a gender split of 54% female to 46% male, an age breakdown of 32% age 15-24, 34% 25-34, and 33% age 35+, and respondents from locations throughout Kenya.

Initial high-level insights show that 48% both grow crops and raise livestock, and 44% report they engage in commercial farming as opposed to subsistence farming. Of those who engage in commercial farming, just 7% sell to international or export markets, with the vast majority reporting they sell goods to local markets. Regarding farm size and income, 68% identify farming as their main source of income, and 80% of respondents report that their farms are under 2 hectares in size.

farmer survey results

While 72% report that they are making a profit from their farming activities, farmers in Kenya face a variety of challenges, from pests to drought and seed quality. The changing climate is also a concern, with 27% listing climate one of the key challenges they face, and 50% saying climactic changes have impacted their yields.

In the coming weeks GeoPoll will release a full report with analysis of our in-depth survey with the farming community in Kenya, and over the coming months we will expand this panel to additional countries. To be the first to know about this report, sign up for GeoPoll’s newsletter here. If you’d like to conduct your own custom survey with GeoPoll’s panel of farmers in Kenya or are interested in reaching farmers in other areas around the world, please contact us today.

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