PxD has been active in Kenya since 2016, the year of our inception as an organization. In 2016, we piloted an SMS-based advisory service among 1,900 smallholder maize farmers in Busia, a county in the west of Kenya. At the end of 2021, services built and supported by PxD served over 630,000 users across all of Kenya’s counties, catering to various informational needs including smallholder agriculture, financial services, and education.
Our operations in Kenya are built on foundational research pioneered by Michael Kremer, PxD co-founder and member of our board, demonstrating the potential of leveraging the proliferation and use of mobile phones among smallholder farmers to distribute advice and productivity-enhancing behaviors.
Read more about our Kenyan initiatives:
Research & Innovation
Research and innovation remain central to our work in Kenya. Recent research and innovation activities include experimenting with the timing of advisory to nudge farmers regarding optimal planting times (an increasingly important factor in light of climate change and variable weather), a digital phone book to improve linkages between farmers and agro-dealers by providing local agro-dealer contact information through the MoA-INFO service, a close analysis of gendered divisions of responsibility and intra-household cooperation in Kenya’s dairy sector, and investigating the use of asset-collateralized loans to fund water tanks and greater resilience among dairy farmers.
Kenya has also been a critical site for our technological and software development and innovation. Paddy, the platform we now use as the backend for a majority of our services was first deployed in 2019 as an SMS platform for users on one service – MoA-INFO, our largest digital extension service in Kenya. In that year, systems running Paddy serviced approximately 250,000 farmers with SMS content focussed on Fall Armyworm pest management in Kenyan Maize fields. By contrast, in 2021 PxD was running 13 of our 20 initiatives on Paddy, servicing 2.9 million users in six countries on three continents.
We are proud to work with the following research and implementation partners in Kenya:
The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives (MoALFC)
Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO)
Private and non-profit partners:
Development Innovation Lab (DIL) at the University of Chicago
Kenya Markets Trust
Lessos Farmers Cooperative Society
One Acre Fund
Sirikwa Dairies and General Limited
We are grateful to the following funders for supporting our work in Kenya:
King Climate Action Initiative (K-CAI)
Private Enterprise Development in Low-Income Countries (PEDL)
Mercy Corps AgriFin