• Ikechukwu Kalu

A Key Resource For Farmers

Updated: Aug 4, 2021



Every time success is achieved in agriculture, a number of factors have been put in place. The successful farmer on average has a good piece of land, access to water, good seed, fertilizer, pesticides, and more, including favourable weather conditions and funding. As expensive as some critical farm inputs could be, they all seem to be within the control of the farmer, all but one, favourable weather conditions. For sub-Saharan Africa where more than 95% of farmed land is rainfed, farmers in this region will be disadvantaged if there was no way to harness the one critical resource for agricultural success that mankind has no control over; the weather.


Challenges Farmers Usually Face


On major issues like funding, seeds and fertilizers, technology has made it possible for farmers to access credible solutions to these problems. However, not much had been done in providing a solution to the effects of climate change that has left the weather patterns of tropical Africa severely distorted, well, not until ignitia was founded in 2010. While the world works to slow down the rate of climate change by taking some vital steps in climate action, what the farmers need is a solution that keeps them producing despite their challenges, to feed and to earn. It becomes increasingly difficult when the weather in this region is so erratic that global weather forecasting models barely manage to be correct 39% of the time. The need for a highly reliable weather forecast in the tropics has proven to be a major farm input if farmers in the continent that is home to over 50% of the world's fertile land will be able to produce enough food for the growing population despite the effects of climate change.


Ignitia's Weather Forecasts as A Key Resource For Farmers


Highly reliable weather forecasts will guide farmers to harness the weather conditions over their farms to optimise their farming operations. Leveraging the information provided by Ignitia, farmers will be able to make better decisions on when to sow, weed, spray or apply fertilizers. This insight could also be harnessed to time harvest and hiring of farm labour. With the season's outlook, farmers could also choose the best crops to farm in that season considering how long the rains will be around for that season. This information is sent to farmers in the most remote parts of tropical Africa through iska, a 48-hour weather forecast delivered by SMS, eliminating the need for a smart phone or internet access. Ignitia's highly reliable weather insight is also available to larger agricultural companies with many farmers and multiple farm sites via ojo, a web dashboard that provides insights on over 30 weather parameters on a virtual map.

The benefits of having this key resource for farmers by Ignitia far outweigh its cost as farmers who have invested in this service have seen up to 80 times return on investment as well as remarkable yield increases.


Do Ignitia's Services Really Work?


With over 1.8 million subscribers leveraging our weather forecasts with over 84% reliability across the tropics, Ignitia's results and impact speak for itself. A report by Mercy Corps Agrifin following a partnership project found that 72% of all surveyed farmers using ignitia's service reported that their way of farming “very much improved” because of Ignitia’s weather forecast, with 88% of the farmers reporting an increase in crop production, and 87% of farmers reporting an increase in revenue from crops that used Ignitia’s offering. The report also found that Ignitia’s weather forecast service had a positive effect on the recovery of 79% of farmers, who faced climate shock in the last two years.


Conclusion


While a number of farmers have already benefited from this key resource Ignitia provides, there is the need to make even more impact in the tropics and beyond. Hence, Ignitia recently announced its expansion to provide highly reliable weather forecasting service in Brazil, as well as plans to further expand its footprint in West Africa. Are you looking to get this key resource on your side and start turning weather from a liability to an asset? Simply start a conversation here.



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