The digitization of the agricultural sector is developing rapidly. More and more farmers have access to a smartphone and internet coverage is becoming available even at remote places.
Weather Impact currently provides 130,000 Kenyan farmers with local weather forecasts through mobile text messages. Now we aim to make these easily available for all farmers in Africa via the Weather4Farmers smartphone application.
We now have the technology ready to offer farmers a mobile app with high quality weather data. Weather Impact has developed a prototype app and aims to develop this mobile application further to support small-scale African farmers with localized farm-weather information.
The Weather4Farmers app is easy-to-use and provides high-quality information which is critical for farm management. This includes;
- Innovative forecasts on the start of the rain season
- Upcoming seasonal anomalies
- Agricultural advisories
- Detailed weather forecast for the coming 10 days
With specific agro-weather information Weather4Farmers supports farmers with farm management. Based on high-quality, localized weather information they can determine the best time to plant or harvest, to use fertilizers and pesticides, to choose the best crops and make investment decisions. This results in higher productivity and more efficient use of inputs.
A demonstration of our application for the location in Bangladesh, is shown above. In this application you retrieve weather forecasts and agri-advises for your specific location. You receive a weather alert when extreme weather is expected and this will be shown on top of your screen. The weather forecast for the coming days is always visible and includes the rainfall amount, rainfall chance and minimum and maximum temperature for your location. At the bottom the advises for farming activities are displayed. Also we provide information in a pop up screen when the rain season status will change soon. You receive a message when – for example – the rain season will start, when a dry spell within the rain season is expected or when the rain season will end soon.
“Weather is the number 1 information need for farmers.”
Currently, the Weather4Farmers app is being used in Bangladesh by more then 600 farmers. We provide a range of services, including agrometeorological advisories. The app also include alerts concerning the start of the rain season and extreme weather. Farmers can pick the language of their preference; English or Bengali, which is the official language of Bangladesh. This translation is an additional benefit, which helps them in making the right decisions regarding farming activities, extreme weather mitigation and eventually an increase in their food production.
More information about this project from the Netherlands Water Partnership can be read on our Bangladesh page.
Weather forecast in English and farming advice in Bengali.
To give farmers the opportunity to use our mobile app, close collaboration with other partners in the value chain is essential. The technical development is ready and we now seek corporation from partners to roll out this application. Important aspects we strive for are;
(1) build a local network that gives us access to farmers;
(2) gain knowledge of social and cultural acceptance;
(3) develop a cooperative market strategy;
(4) gain insight into the technological needs of farmers;
(5) develop a viable and scalable business model; and
(6) formulate a follow-up research and development roadmap to further adapt the technology
Want to know more?
Would you like to:
- collaborate with us to take this application to the next level?
- investigate the possibilities to couple weather forecasts and agri-advises to your application or data platform? The Weather4Farmers prototype app can already be linked with your application through our API!
Please contact Bob Ammerlaan for more information.