Solution Overview

Solution Name


One-line solution summary.

ShambaAssistant is a soil data collecting IoT device with an AI soil analysis platform.

Elevator pitch

What is your solution?

ShambaAssistant is an affordable comprehensive IoT soil data collecting device. It collects the following data; Soil PH, Nitrogen Content, Potassium Content, Phosphorus Content, Soil Electrical Conductivity, Crop Images which it sends to a cloud server for analysis. The analysis is sent back to the farmer as an advisory on what the soil needs for improved production of a specific crop. Transmission of data to the cloud server is through internet connectivity. Feedback is sent through SMS or USSD. 

What specific problem are you trying to solve?

33 million farmers in Africa are smallholder farmers. They contribute 70% of food production. 37% of the farmers however farm on degraded land. There lacks a cheap comprehensive soil analysis tool that can advise farmers on input for improved production.  

Who does your solution serve? In what ways will the solution impact their lives?

ShambaAssistant is designed to advise farmers on farm input for improved production. Farmers lack access to extension services from the government. Present soil analysis tools are few, robust, offer limited data, are not easily accessible, and are expensive to use. ShambaAssistant is a comprehensive IoT soil data collecting tool that is fully automated, affordable, can easily be carried, and is used without any special skills needed.  

What steps have you taken to understand the needs of the population you want to serve?

I was raised in an agriculture practicing family. This contributes heavily to my understanding of the problems majority of farmers in a developing country have. Additionally, I did research with potential users, Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition networked farmers. I engaged the potential users in the design and development of the solution. 

Which aspects of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Taking action to combat climate change and its impacts (Sustainability)

Our solution's stage of development:

Pilot: An organization deploying a tested product, service, or business model in at least one community

Explain why you selected this stage of development for your solution—in other words, what have you accomplished to date?

ShambaAssistant has been piloted in Kangema in Muranga county where it is being used by GODAN Champions Agribusiness Cooperative 50 farmers.

Where our solution team is headquartered or located:

Nairobi, Kenya

Team Lead:

Derrick Ngigi

More About Your Solution

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new use of an existing technology (e.g. application to a new problem or in a new location)

Describe the core technology that powers your solution.

ShambaAssistant is an IoT device my team and I fabricated to collect data through sensory devices planted into the soil and transmit the data to a cloud server through internet connectivity for AI analysis.

Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning
  • Big Data
  • GIS and Geospatial Technology
  • Imaging and Sensor Technology
  • Internet of Things
  • Software and Mobile Applications

In which countries do you currently operate?

  • Kenya

How many people does your solution currently serve, and how many do you plan to serve in the next year? If you haven’t yet launched your solution, tell us how many people you plan to serve in the next year.

Currently serving 50. We plan to scale to 500 farmers. 

What are your impact goals for the next year, and how will you achieve them?

Improve farmers' income through improved production. 

How are you measuring your progress or planning to measure your progress toward your impact goals?

By working with a Cooperative database that provides farmers' outputs. 

What barriers currently exist for you to accomplish your goals in the next year?

Current barriers are limited funding to improve the model. 

Solution Team

  • DN DN
    Derrick Ngigi Programme for Capacity Development in Africa (P4CDA)
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