Caroline Dama, a lead farmer from Basi Mwangaza Village in Kilifi County, Kenya, is thrilled to be part of the PlantVillage community.
It has been two years now since she joined the organization, and she says her experience has led to more success.
"My interaction with PlantVillage as a farmer throughout the years has led to increased crop yields, especially in cassava,’’ she says.
The ardent farmer represents 34 members in her group called Basi Mwangaza CBO.
‘’I am a member of the Basi Mwangaza CBO, a group of 34 farmers, most of whom are women. My biggest role as a lead farmer is to visit members' farms and scout for pests and diseases in their crops using the PlantVillage Nuru app," she says.
Lead farmer Caroline Dama from Kilifi County, Kenya, scanning her maize for signs of fall amryworms using the Nuru app [Photo-PlantVillage]
The PlantVillage Nuru app, which has unique built-in artificial intelligence features for identifying plant diseases and pests, has been very beneficial to her group. Most farmers can now identify diseases in cassava by themselves.
‘’I encourage my group members to use clean cassava cuttings, rogue out infected crops and plant napier grass or trees around the border of their farms to control the spread of pests from the neighboring farms," she continues.
Basi Mwangaza CBO members meet weekly. They have an active village saving and loan association from which many farmers have benefited through affordable credit to buy seeds, fertiliser and other inputs.
The new technologies being rolled out to farmers are working wonders. Caroline Dama is one of hundreds of female lead farmers in PlantVillage who have mastered these new methods for the benefit of their fellow farmers.
- Written by Marion Tebea