Crop Monitoring Service-Kenya (CROPMON) is a four-year project funded by the Geodata for Agriculture and Water (G4AW) facility. The CROPMON project has developed an affordable decision supporting information service for smallholder to medium-sized farmers in Kenya. CROPMON provides information services to the farmers on the actual crop condition, farm management advisory and a local 7-day forecast of temperatures and rainfall. Today, about 200,000 farmers (growing coffee, sugarcane, maize, wheat and grass) in Kenya benefit on a weekly basis from the CROPMON service.
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Together with Satelligence, Weather Impact has developed an early-warning system for the fall armyworm (FAW). Every Monday, a weekly FAW risk map for Ghana (Fig. 1) is calculated based on a combination of observational data, weather forecasts and satellite imagery. Our model highlights the regions in Ghana where FAW are likely to land and lay their eggs next, thereby infesting new crop fields. The risk is calculated per Ghanaian district and given in 4 classes: “low risk”, “medium risk”, “high risk”, and “very high risk”.
At the 31st of May, Weather Impact successfully ended the Rain4Africa project. Together with 8 partners more than 125.000 small scale South African farmers were targeted with the best available weather and climate services, to increase their food production and reduce weather and climate related risks. After 4 years of project, Rain4Africa has now resulted in an operational service called “AgriCloud”.
April 2018. Weather Impact joins the NL-Food Security Alliance (NL-FSA); a community of mainly Dutch companies and institutions collaborating in creating tailor-made and sustainable solutions for the agri-water-food business. Food security is one of the biggest challenges for the coming years worldwide and is exacerbated by climate change.
“The NL-FSA delivers products and services from various expertises and contributes to the development of a profitable and sustainable agribusiness in Africa and Asia. The alliance strives to achieve its goals and at the same time contribute to the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). The NL-FSA performs in a sustainable manner with respect for people, the environment and climate change. “
Last month, Stefan Ligtenberg and Sippora Stellingwerf visited Burundi together with partners from the GAP4All project (Good Agricultural Practices for All). One of the goals of the visit was to evaluate farmers’ opinion on the first version of the AgriCoach app. The AgriCoach app helps farmers decide on what, how and when to plant. Weather Impact provides the weather forecasts in the AgriCoach app. The forecasts contain information on rainfall and temperature for up to 8 days ahead and are given in three languages: Kirundi, French and English.
The Fall Armyworm (FAW, Latin: Spodoptera frugiperda) has been taunting farmers in the Americas for centuries. The FAW has over 80 different crops on its diet, but prefers maize. Just three years ago the FAW spread to West-Africa, most likely via air traffic. By today, the FAW has been reported throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and poses a huge threat to food security and the livelihood of farmers. The economic damage is estimated to be several billion USD. Unfortunately, this is not the end. Just recently the FAW has also invaded Asia: India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Yemen now have to face a new pest. The map below shows the current extent of the FAW.
The year 2018 was the fourth warmest year on record, with a global average surface air temperature of 14.7°C as shown by the data from Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). The last five years were on average 1.1°C higher than pre-industrial levels. Furthermore, the year 2018 was also the fourth costliest year since 1980 for insured losses due to natural hazards according to Munich RE. The total losses due to natural hazards were estimated at $160 billion, of which 78% had a meteorological or climatological cause.
Sesame is a crop that is sensitive to weather variability; the annual yield is influenced by local weather, especially rainfall amounts and wind. Knowledge on coming weeks’ weather can help small scale farmers to plan their farm activities and address weather related risks. Over the year 2018, a mobile weather services was piloted with 3000 sesame farmers in Amhara and Tigray, two regions in the north of Ethiopia. The farmers received three times a week a weather forecast on their mobile phone in their local language. This pilot was part of the CommonSense project and was carried out in collaboration with the National Meteorological Agency of Ethiopia (NMA) and Sesame Business Network (SBN).
Weather Impact has visited the Tanzanian Meteorological Agency (TMA) for a workshop about weather services for small scale farmers in Tanzania. The workshop took place in the scope of the Sikia project and targeted the experts in Numerical Weather Prediction at TMA.
In the week from 17 – 21 September, the 4th annual partner meeting of the G4AW project CropMon took place in Eldoret, Kenya. The goal of CropMon (Crop Monitoring Service) is to provide Kenyan farmers information to enhance their crop growth. The information service – both weather information and information about the status of the crop – is provided via SMS to farmers. In the project four Kenyan partners -Cereal Growers Association, Coffee Management, Equity Group Foundation and Sugar Research Institute- cooperate with Dutch partners AgroCares, NEO and Weather Impact and Turkish partner Springg.