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Field manager Kelvin Otieno arranges seed and fertilizer

Farmer Feedback Shapes Input Delivery in Nyanza Province

When our program was not helping our clients in Nyanza the way we intended, we made some adjustments.

A Common But Unexpected Issue

This blog is part of a series profiling input delivery at One Acre Fund. Be sure to read the first blog in the series. 

When it comes to making operational changes, farmer feedback is a fundamental part of One Acre Fund’s decision-making process. In 2012, we created the customer engagement team and hotline, so clients could contact headquarters staff directly to provide feedback on the program and voice any concerns.

In 2013, the team reported that large numbers of clients from Nyanza province, Kenya were calling the hotline, and that their concerns were very similar. 

Farmers explained that weather patterns in the region had become more erratic. They suggested that One Acre Fund’s pre-established seed and fertilizer delivery dates were no longer ideal, as they were too close to the arrival of the rains (when farmers needed to be planting).

The Nyanza province was also seeing some cases of Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease (MLND). Farmers reported less disease in affected fields if they planted earlier rather than later in the year. Our monitoring and evaluation team was dispatched to confirm this, studying cases of both One Acre Fund and non-One Acre Fund farmers’ fields in 2013.

The impact study conducted by the M&E team, along with reports from field officers, corroborated the feedback Nyanza farmers had provided the previous year. Taken together, One Acre Fund realized that an operational adjustment was in order.

Making a Change

Instead of delivering seed and fertilizer to Nyanza farmers in early February, when we also deliver to farmers in the Western province, we decided to deliver seed and fertilizer to Nyanza one month in advance.

This year, on January 19th, 2015, we began our deliveries to the Nyanza province. With seed and fertilizer stacked atop heads, bicycles and wheelbarrows, farmers in Nyanza let us know how happy they were with the new delivery date. “Over the years, the seasons have changed," Millicent Aoko Kaunda, who has farmed with One Acre Fund for two years, said. "Sometimes we can have early rains, and at times delayed rains—either way we get to benefit because we now already have the seeds with us!” 

Below are some photos depicting input delivery in Nyanza.

Farmer Millicent Aoko Kaunda Farmer Millicent Aoko Kaunda with her planting supplies in Kanyamamba, Nyanza. Field staff in Nyanza unload seed and fertilizer Field staff in Nyanza unload seed and fertilizer from the delivery trucks early in the morning as farmers wait to pick up the supplies they purchased on credit for the 2015 season. Field manager Kelvin Otieno arranges seed and fertilizer Field manager Kelvin Otieno arranges the seed and fertilizer into piles for each farmer based on what they signed up to receive during our enrollment period. Ruth Akeyo confirms her delivery with field officer Elizabeth Adoyo After farmers confirm that they have received the supplies they purchased, they sign a receipt. Here farmer Ruth Akeyo signs to confirm her delivery with field officer Elizabeth Adoyo. The Umoja group in Homabay, Nyanza The Umoja group in Homabay, Nyanza, with their seed and fertilizer. Farmers Philisters Aoko Ojwang and Teresa Ojwang Ajwang Farmers Philisters Aoko Ojwang and Teresa Ojwang Ajwang carry the seed and fertilizer they received on their heads.

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