Harnessing Agri-Weather for Sustainable Development: Guest Blog by Ukulima Tech
Photo Credit: Ukulima Tech

Harnessing Agri-Weather for Sustainable Development: Guest Blog by Ukulima Tech

Ukulima Tech (UT) provides agricultural advisory services to empower farmers in Kenya. UT has fully integrated aWhere’s API into their system to send critical messages to farmers. This blog describes their methods and success with aWhere’s localized weather data to help farmers adapt to climate change.

Smallholder farmers in Kenya still rely heavily on traditional methods to understand weather predictions but this does not allow them to mitigate the risks brought by climate change. Ukulima Tech has adopted a transformative agenda, working towards disseminating decentralized weather forecasts to improve the use and understanding of climate information through a partnership with aWhere. In order to support Kenyan farmers, Ukulima Tech developed AgroWeather, a mobile-based information system application that incorporates climate information for farmers. The information system was developed to help farmers better manage weather risks, maximize productivity and minimize the environmental impact of farming practices.

The information received from aWhere’s API is integrated into Ukulima Tech’s AgroWeather platform and processed through a built-in algorithm.  The weather information is also translated into local languages. We analyze and interpret the weather datasets to develop insights and agricultural intelligence, thereby building a better understanding of vulnerabilities to inform adaptation as well as managing and responding to the risks of climate change. Based on weather data provided by aWhere, personalized geo-referenced climate information is generated and disseminated to farmers through short messaging system (SMS) technology.

Approximately 500 small-holder farmers have benefited from the climate information service. Farmers with access to the agro-weather information recorded 3-times the maize harvest compared to non-beneficiaries. By understanding weather trends, farmers have been able to plan better and make timely decisions at different stages of crop production. Thanks to improved access to this information from aWhere, farmers now have insights to optimal planting dates and what crops are best suited to their local conditions to maximize their productivity and minimize risks. 

We aspire to use our innovation to deliver agricultural innovative services to meet the needs of small-scale farmers and deliver practical climate action. Based on this fundamental aspiration, our ambition in the coming year sets out to:

  • Develop agronomic insights/advisories modeled in line with the projected weather/climate information so farmers can adopt climate smart agriculture and farm management practices.
  • Develop agro-insurance in partnership with an insurance company to develop a weather indexed insurance scheme that provides risk management opportunities to producers to protect them from shocks due to unexpected weather events.
  • -Build financial models to unlock farmers’ access to credit to purchase quality inputs, make productive investments, and improve their production. Digital-based lending solution for farmers to access loans or make purchases through a commodity-based lending platform in order to close the critical data gap that prevents financial institutions from lending to credit-worthy smallholder farmers.

In the semi-arid region of Machakos County, the major problem posed by Climate Change is water scarcity (Photo from: Ukulima Tech)
Training event in Machakos County to empower farmers adapt to climate change (Photo from: Ukulima Tech)

Training event in Machakos County to empower farmers adapt to climate change (Photo from: Ukulima Tech)
Training event in Machakos County to empower farmers adapt to climate change (Photo from: Ukulima Tech)

aWhere is thrilled to support small-businesses such as Ukulima Tech to expand their business and help farmers adapt to climate change.