The project has established systems comparison field experiments (LTE) at two sites of different production potential (Chuka and Thika). The experiments are based on a 3 year crop rotation with maize, beans, potatoes and vegetables. This crop rotation meets the basic phyto-sanitary requirements and allows a good number of crops to be studied. The conventional and organic treatments are run at two input levels each. The low input level represents the context of subsistence farming, whereas the high input level represents the situation of commercial growers. In the high input treatments, nutrient application levels are about four times higher than in the low input treatments. Input levels follow recommendations from the East African Organic Standards, from the Ministry of Agriculture and from own surveys.
Trial plots measure 8 x 8 m (net plot size is 6 x 6 m) and are replicated four (Chuka) and five (Thika) times. Parallel to the establishment of the long-term system experiments, climate data has been continuously collected. In addition, agronomic and socio-economic data is being gathered, and soil, fertiliser and crop samples regularly analysed.