The iCow Soil Advocacy program was launched in June 2021 as a program aimed at engaging young Boda Boda riders in soil advocacy in their communities. The program and course was designed by Su Kahumbu CEO of Green Dreams TECH Ltd borrowing from her experiences of taking an online soil advocacy course with Kiss The Ground and from her collaboration in the Africa Dairy Genetic Gains program in East Africa.
The program was delivered online over zoom once a week for 3 months. Farmers using the iCow app and platform were asked to share the opportunity to take the course with their families and communities. Safaricom and Biovision partnered with the training providing internet bundles as well as teacher fees for select class cohorts.
The training model was designed to teach soil advocacy first at home and secondly within the community, and was aimed at creating inclusivity of women as well as the youth. As such on starting the course students had to enrol a female family member as their +Ones to teach her all they were learning and co-opt her into on-field practicals in the homestead. Students were also paired as ‘Buddies’ across Counties to enhance sharing of knowledge, accountability and commitment to class and to build long lasting friendships and relationships with like minded individuals across the country. Teaching and training was interactive using whatsaap and zoom.
The Mazingira Center at the International Livestock Research Institution (ILRI) partnered with our program to track and measure the socio economic impact of the Soil Advocacy Course and to support lab analyses of soil and compost samples at the end of the course.
On July 7th and 8th 2022, Twenty iCow Boda Boda Soil Advocates and their +Ones were invited to Nairobi to take part in a two day field trip and award ceremony. They travelled from 11 Counties (Makueni ,Machakos, Tharaka Nithi, Trans-Nzoia, Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Homa Bay, Migori, Nairobi, Nyeri, Bungoma ) across Kenya arriving at the Quaribu Hotel for the night of the 6th before starting the event on the morning of the 7th at ILRI HQ Nairobi.
The iCow Boda Boda Soil Advocate Award ceremony was the first of it’s kind in Kenya with Awards being given to individuals for completion of the iCow Soil Advocacy Course and Awards for diversity of different microbes in their soil and compost samples, for nurturing and preserving soil microbiology and promoting soil advocacy as a solution to abundant, safe and nutritious foods in Kenya.
iCow Soil Award Ceremony
The iCow Soil Advocacy program was awarded to the soil advocates on merit of completing the program with outstanding results.
iCow Champions and Awards
Winner: Maurine Adhiambo Okoth
Second Place: Martin Mwaniki
Winner: Brian Mutuma
Winner: Joel Nyamohanga
Winner: Paul Thungu Muigai
Winner: Dancan Okwanyo Okoth
Second Place: Antony Weihere Nyanchowa
Third Place: Peter Owino
Winner: Peter Owino
Second Place: Emmanuel Kirwa and Martin Mwaniki
Third Place: Maurine Adhiambo Okoth and Antony Weihere Nyanchowa
Winner: Team Makueni (Sammy Musembi Mutuku, Stephen Charles Kiusya, Peter Mulwa, Beatrice Kioko, Scholastica Syombua Mutune, Charles Mbithi)