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 production and more efficient use of inputs.
An example of the front page of our application 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. It is good weather for spraying, while the weather is not suitable for weeding and fertilizing. 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.”
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 which gives us access to farmers;
(2) gain knowledge of social and cultural acceptance;
(3) develop a cooperative market strategy;
(4) gain insight in 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 Pleun Bonekamp for more information.