Agro-meteorological assistance in Tanzania to increase the resilience of farming communities to climate challenges
- Progress stage
- Nov. 2023 à Avr. 2025
To support climate-smart farm-decision making, Weather Impact, Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI), ESOKO and Tanzania Youth Espouse for Gender and Development (TYEGD) develop and test in the Mara region a location-specific dynamic Agri-Weather Advisory.
Project deployed by:
Tanzania is home to over 63 million people, 80% of which is dependent on the agricultural sector. The agricultural sector of Tanzania is dominated by smallholder farmers producing 95% of the national food requirements.
Many cultivate staple crops such as maize and cassava, which are part of the top three most consumed foods in the country. These crops which represent the two largest planted areas in the Mara region are not only consumed domestically but also serve as cash crops for export.
For years, local populations have experienced aggravating droughts, floods and delays in the start of the rain season coupled with uneven rainfall distribution during the season. Due to climate change, crop yields of staple produce (i.e., maize, cassava) are projected to decrease (USAID 2018). Tanzania is the 26th most vulnerable country to climate risks.
The enterprise Weather Impact has been using the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) model and has been developing agri-weather solutions across Sub-Saharan Africa to provide weather forecasts to smallholder farmers in order to optimize their agricultural strategies and increase their resilience to weather shocks.
This project aims to go further by not only sending weather forecasting and general agro advisories but making those farmer- and crop-specific. The project plans:
- A communication channel allowing farmers to send and receive Agri-weather info
- A cassava and maize agronomic advice based on real time weather forecasts and extreme weather alerts
- A dynamic crop model for maize and cassava calibrated and validated using local farmers knowledge and real-time weather forecast of the next 2 weeks
Three local partners are involved in the development of this innovation:
- The Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) who has developed an agronomic package to advise cassava and maize farmers on when to plant, harvest, weed, etc.
- ESOKO for their IT and platform expertise
- Tanzania Youth Espouse for Gender and Development (TYEGD) to ensure inclusion and diversity
In this FID funded test phase, it is expected that 2,400 farmers in the Mara region will receive alerts and forecasts in local language directly on the phone via SMS, voice message and mobile application. 500 of them will receive training on usage of the Agri-weather tool, climate change, and digital literacy. Furthermore, 50 rain gauges will be distributed for daily local rainfall observations.
Following this pilot project, the expected results are:
- Increase in crop-yield for cassava and maize farmers between the previous and current season
- Satisfaction of users
- Surveyed farmers will express high satisfaction on the accuracy, timeliness and comprehensiveness of the weather forecast. Farmers satisfaction with the advisory and capacity building workshops
Ultimately, the project aims to contribute to enhancing food security in the Mara region and other parts of Tanzania.
Projects funded by FID