Weather Forecasting For Sustainable Agriculture in Africa
Sustainable agriculture in Africa is a subject of global interest. This is as a result of the impact of climate change on world food production and security. The growing population of the world further emphasizes the need for sustainable agriculture in Africa.
Africa is one of the most diverse agricultural continents in the world. Farming, in fact, accounts for about 60 percent of the continent’s jobs. Now more than ever, climate-smart agriculture is essential for Africa and the world at large.
The Need for Sustainable Agriculture in Africa
Agriculture holds a lot of promise for Africa. The World Bank projects that agriculture and agribusiness in Africa will grow to be a $1 trillion industry in Africa by 2030. A report by the United Nations also confirms Africa’s enormous potential, not only to feed itself and eliminate hunger and food insecurity, but also to be a major player in global food markets. Part of the report read thus; “as a sector it can therefore contribute towards major continental priorities, such as eradicating poverty and hunger, boosting intra-Africa trade and investments, rapid industrialization and economic diversification, sustainable resource and environmental management, and creating jobs, human security and shared prosperity.”
Sustainable agriculture in Africa is thus a necessity. It will result in massive wealth creation for Africa as much as a great progress in realising the zero hunger SDG. It will also encourage the conservation of resources for future generations.
So why is weather important for sustainable agriculture in Africa?
Sustainable Agriculture in Africa entails finding ways to boost agricultural productivity in the continent without hurting the ecosystem. By definition, this involves agricultural practices which cannot ignore the weather because of climate change. Weather is thus, a fundamental factor in sustainable agriculture because it plays a vital role in agricultural production. It has a profound influence on the growth, development and yield of crops. It also affects the incidence of pests and diseases as well as the water and fertilizer requirements of crops.
Furthermore, weather aberrations may cause soil erosion and physical damage to crop. Bad weather can affect the quality of the produce during transportation. It can also affect the viability and vigor of seeds and planting materials during storage.
These contributions of weather in agricultural production highlight the importance of weather in sustainable agriculture in Africa.
The Role of Weather Forecast
Weather forecast has been shown to help farmers boost productivity in a number of ways.
In the hands of farmers, weather forecast is a vital tool for planning various stages of farming activities. It will enable them to fully exploit rainfall thereby, conserving other resources and encouraging eco-friendly farming practices.
Furthermore, weather forecast prevents crop loss by advising farmers on undertaking some crop management in time and making a selection of agriculture crops most suitable to the anticipated climatic conditions.
These applications of weather forecast can boost food production and ensure sustainability.
However, accurate weather forecasts in the tropics never existed because weather works differently near the equator. Ignitia’s weather forecast model defied that and became the world’s first and most accurate tropical weather forecasting with an accuracy of 84%. Our model proves twice as accurate as other global models that are wrong half of the time with a 39% accuracy.
Ignitia’s SMS-delivered weather forecast is encouraging sustainable agriculture in Africa by providing farmers with highly accurate hyperlocal weather information. Thousands of farmers in Africa are using our service to boost their productivity by up to 80%, resulting in more income for them.
Weather forecast is important for sustainable agriculture in Africa in more than one way.
It gives farmers information that enables them boost productivity by maximizing rainfall and other weather elements in eco-friendly farming practices.
Weather forecast also helps prevent crop loss by advising farmers on proper timing and planning of farming activities like tilling, planting and harvesting.
Finally, weather forecast helps reduce pollution of the environment by advising application of farming inputs like pesticides and fertilizers at times when the rains would not wash them into waterbodies. Clean waterbodies mean a healthier environment which is beneficial to livestock and humans as well.
Africa stands a better chance at achieving her full agricultural potentials through weather forecast.