Message per week
When applied correctly, integrated pest management is a cheaper, more efficient and
healthier way of controlling pests than a chemical first approach. This makes it an extremely
suitable for smallholders to use.
Real IPM, a member of the Biobest Group, have made significant progress making biological pesticides more widely available across East Africa. In particular, creating a series of prophylactic and curative IPM programmes which work alongside their products to maximise results.
However, as Real IPM scaled it became a lot harder to maintain the same level of technical support with their smallholder farmers. This is a particular issue when selling via distributors, where the relationship with the farmer is indirect.
Without adequate technical support, farmers cannot reproduce the expected results, and are likely to regress back to using traditional chemical based pesticides.
To overcome this challenge Real IPM knew they needed a scalable technical support programme to reach
their smallholder farmers. Collaborating with Climate Edge, they were able to use our platform to send surveys
to their farmers and messages via scheduled SMS .
Taking an innovative approach, Real IPM advertised their unique Climate Edge shortcode on the side of their product packaging, informing smallholder farmers who bought their product that they could receive free technical support once they had filled out a short survey.
Farmers who subscribe to the service are asked a short series of questions (name, location, crop, age and gender). Which helps Real IPM to provide tailored support to each smallholder farmer, as well as receiving analytics allowing them to perform market research to understand who is buying their product.
After completing the survey, farmers automatically receive a series of timely agronomic messages, helping them apply the product effectively, maximising the results.
Utilising an incentive based data collection method was extremely effective at motivating
farmers to respond to the survey questions, and to accurately provide their data to Real IPM.
It also meant that smallholder farmers were able to improve the quality of their crops and decrease the risk of pests.
In general, expected response rates to SMS surveys among smallholder farmers are between 5-10%. Using Climate Edge’s platform, Real IPM were able to provide a meaningful incentive, increasing the response rate to 60%, with 46% of respondents completing the survey in its entirety.
These results are extremely high, and gave RealIPM a unique and powerful insight into who their customers are - allowing them to tailor their products accordingly.