By Sheilah Birgen
Weather is a key determinant for lot of activities in agriculture. Farmers across the world struggle with productivity as well as handling post harvest challenges because of weather related challenges. Agriculture is the backbone of the Kenyan economy. It is a key sector in the economy, contributing immensely to the GDP.
Weather over a long period of time affects food security. This is because it affects the stability, utilization, accessibility and availability of food. Weather therefore is very important to farmer because it affects productivity, market flows and purchasing power of the consumers.
Agro-weather information is important because it enables the farmers to understanding the weather patterns hence empowering them in making decisions that can result to high yields. For example weather information enables a farmer to incorporate improved agricultural practices, plan on planting, weeding, top dressing and harvesting timings. On Wednesday 31st of October 2012, m:Lab East Africa with the support of USAID will host mobile applications developer, farmers, government representatives, NGOs, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders in the agricultural sector while they discuss how the use of reliable agro-weather data by farmers can be enhanced.
The focus group discussion will seek to find out from the stakeholders how accurate, weather information dissemination,personal weather stations and agronomic practices affect agriculture and how technology can be used to help farmers.
Key discussants at the meetup will be:
- Simon Gathara, Assistant Director Kenya Meteorological Department
- A representative from Kilimo Salama
- Yumbya Ben, A Crops Development Officer
- Farmers from different regions kenya
- Representative from Climate Change Unit, Ministry of Agriculture
- Among others