NAIROBI, Kenya- The World Bank and Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO), launched a pilot agricultural observatory platform, to enhance access to high-resolution geo-spatial agro-meteorology data.
Ladisy Chengula, World Bank’s lead agricultural economist, said, the platform will help relay information on when drought and flooding is likely to occur in the country. “The information will then be availed to scientists and policy-makers to help save farmers from making losses,” Chengula said during the launch in Nairobi.
The 100-million-U.S. dollar pilot platform, will help Kenyan officials predict when the rains or drought is likely to happen and hence inform farmers on time, he said. The platform will also help Kenya in accessing information on weather trends from the neighbouring countries. After Kenya, Chengula said, the platform will be launched in Ethiopia, and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern African (COMESA) countries, respectively.
“The platform will help improve farmers, agro-pastoralists, pastoralists and fish-farmers access to timely and appropriate information, for increasing agricultural productivity and building resilience to climate change risks,” Chengula said.
KALRO Director General, Eliud Kireger, said, 35 staff members are currently undergoing training on predictive, analytics and integration into agriculture. Erratic rainfall, diseases, floods, conflict, animal theft, drought and price volatility are threats to Kenya’s agriculture and livestock sectors, Kireger said.
“The pilot will help support decision-making in agriculture, since the sector has been volatile with growth rates dipping into negative,” said Kireger.
He said that KALRO is investing heavily on ICT, big data and mobile applications, to enable farmers receive information quickly and with ease.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK