Esther Wanjiru Kimani

Esther Wanjiru Kimani

“I was born in Nyandarua, a county in the central part of Kenya. I grew up watching my parents and members of my community farming and I would see crops being completely destroyed by pests and diseases — in every farming season, nearly a third of the crops were being destroyed. As a young child I couldn’t understand why a solution hadn’t been found. Add to this the effects of climate change, and things were changing quite drastically for farmers.

Previously we had 3 harvests, but because of climate change, farmers are reduced to just 2 harvests or even 1. In these reduced harvest seasons, after doing all the preparation of the land and paying people in preparation for the labor, pests and diseases would infest without farmers’ knowledge and destroy the crops.

So, when I went to university, I studied computer science and found that the field presented a world of opportunities. Finally, I could reflect back on the problems I had seen and find a solution between agriculture and technology. That’s how FarmerLifeline was born.

FarmerLifeline exists to help marginalized small holder farmers get ahead of crop pests and disease infestation. We do this by leveraging technology including AI, machine learning, computer vision algorithms, and data analysis to detect pests or diseases and notify farmers immediately. When we notify the farmer, we then recommend what farmers should apply as a treatment solution to increase their yields, improving food security.

FarmerLife comes in, diagnoses, and recommends a chemical that is carbon negative along with the exact quantity needed, so we are able to track the amount of carbon farmers have saved from being emitted into the atmosphere by using a climate friendly solution. Not only that; we reward farmers to change their behavior towards using climate resilience solutions in the future. The farmers become part of the solution to the effects of climate change, becoming resilient against the reduced seasons that they have been seeing on their farms and in their communities.

Halcyon has been so helpful for FarmerLife. Bringing the right people to the right people is what Halcyon does best. My cohort takes the time to show up for me and share opportunities that I can take advantage of. In their ecosystem, whether it’s in Nigeria or Ghana, entrepreneurs in my cohort are able to explain how I can enter their home market. There may be a set of customers that they’ve already reached that I, myself, can now venture into. We’re receiving built-in market research from a network of peers. Halcyon is gathering the best minds together and, in Africa, we are driving change.

For us, FarmerLifeline’s target is to impact one million smallholder farmers by 2030 which looks like a big dream, but my thinking is, if it’s not big enough to scare you, then it’s not big enough.”

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What Halcyon does best is to bring the right people to the right people. My cohort takes the time to show up for me and to share opportunities I can take advantage of.

Voices of Halcyon

The Voices of Halcyon series is part of Halcyon’s end-of-year campaign in which we fundraise to support entrepreneurs like Esther Wanjiru Kimani. With your support, Halcyon can reach its goal of $25,000 to continue providing a stipend, free housing, leadership coaches, consultants, legal support, and more to entrepreneurs driving communities into a brighter, more equitable future. Please support Halcyon by clicking the link below.

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