Project Results: 

Sanergy – Exploration of sales channels for organic fertilizer

Marketing strategies for fecal based compost

About the project
Sanergy has developed a sanitation chain for the urban poor in Nairobi, based on shared toilets, mostly run by a small entrepreneur. The faecal sludge from these toilets is collected and converted into valuable end-products, like organic compost. As services are expanding, Sanergy wanted to explore the option to sell their ‘Evergrow’ compost to small farmers. In the pilot 3 different marketing approaches were tested to reach a small holder market: traditional ‘mouth to mouth’,  SMS based marketing and campaigning through social media.

Key results

  • The sales representatives trained 2,282 farmers. More than 1,000 additional farmers were trained through a project by partner TechnoServe.

  • Over 427 tons of organic fertilizer Evergrow sold to 772 farmers in 8 counties, increasing crop yields, water use efficiency and soil quality.

  • Publication of numerous Facebook posts on important farming advice and best farming practices to support Kenyan farmers.

Tips for the future

  • Most effective marketing strategy is entry with demo; then uptake by first learners through direct sale, followed by farmer to farmer sales.

  • Timing is everything: farmers buy fertilizer just before they need it.

  • Trust in brand is not easy to build through digital network: most small holder farmers were not yet ready for SMS or social media services.

Potential for growth
A huge increase is expected to be reached through the cereal farming production channel. By the end of 2019, Sanergy hopes to collect 55,000 tons of waste, and be selling 7,000 tons of compost to 1,500 farmers.

Project partners
Sanergy, TechnoServe



Agriculture is the backbone of Kenyan economy with 80% of Kenyans relying on agriculture as a living. The sector accounts for more than half of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Agriculture in Kenya is predominantly composed of smallholders practicing mixed farming; they are highly vulnerable to climate stress episodes and to soil quality depletion as they mostly rely on rain-fed agriculture. As rainfalls are unpredictable and unreliable - analysis of Kenya’s water resources show a high water security threat across the entire area – high water-use efficiency ratio (WUE) is critical. WUE is the measure of a cropping system’s capacity to convert water into plant biomass or grain. It includes the use of water stored in the soil, and therefore, WUE relies on the soil’s ability to capture and store water. A lack of soil organic matter (SOM) in Kenya’s depleted soils decreases the ability of the soil to hold water, thus decreasing WUE, crop yields, and ultimately farmer incomes. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, lack of SOM in soils is a critical factor affecting food security in the country.

Project Plan

3 sales channels will be tested and assessed to prove one or more of them and ensure success of our market entry.

Target group

Smallholder farmers in Kenya (Naivasha, Embu, Meru counties mainly).


By successfully assessing the different marketing and sales strategies, we will ensure our capacity to take the necessary time to enter the market: build a brand recognition, create customer loyalty and make sure we can answer market demand. Successfully selling our fertiliser means we can reach breakeven.

Overview of Goals

Measure the efficiency of one-on-one trainings, SMS based marketing and sales methods and the use of social media to reach smallholder farmers in Kenya with useful content and inputs.

Results and indicators

  • Marketing and sales strategies are assessed and proven
    • Number of customers acquired through one-on-one presentations 1000 ( target )
    • Number of people purchasing the product repeatedly after having been introduced to it by one of our teammates in person.
    • Number of customer acquired by SMS platform strategy 150 ( target )
    • Number of customers acquired after having been introduced to the product through SMS platform, Arifu.
    • Number of customers acquired through social media strategy 270 ( target )
    • Customer acquired after having been introduced to the product through social media (Facebook, twitter).