A farmer who knows when it’s going to rain can make better decisions. And now that climate change is making the weather in Africa and Asia more unpredictable, weather forecasts via apps and text messages can help farmers be proactive. The technology works, as several projects have shown. The question now is how this development can be upscaled.
In the G4AW-project (Geodata for Agriculture and Water), weather information from satellites and other sources is transformed into a compact text message in the local language and sent to Ethiopian sesame farmers. This type of timely and precise forecasts help local communities to plan better, even in emergencies. Yelale Amebachew used the text messages to postpone sowing in the spring until the rains came, and to protect the harvested sesame and millet in the field with plastic against wind and rain.
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