Unprecedented climate changes have increasingly made it difficult for farmers in Uganda, who rely on historical weather patterns, to plant and manage their crops with any sense of predictability. This has had negative socio-economic impacts, including crop failure and loss of income for some seasons. Feed the Future Uganda Inclusive Agricultural Markets Activity (FtF IAM), in partnership with aWhere, have presented an opportunity to budding weather entrepreneurs to enable farmers and agribusinesses in Uganda to access weather data and information to tackle the challenges presented by unpredictable weather patterns.
The National Alliance of Agricultural Cooperatives (NAAC), an umbrella organization of all agricultural cooperatives in Uganda, founded in January 2018, is one of the weather entrepreneurs who have been trained by aWhere to bridge the weather information gap for Ugandan farmers and agribusinesses. NAAC is in the process of setting up systems that will enable it to interpret weather data and availing weather information derived from the data for its own use and for use by its members and other agribusinesses.
In partnership with aWhere, a US-based agricultural insights and information company dedicated to providing intelligence services to farmers and agribusinesses, and with FtF IAM, support, NAAC is now empowering farmers and its membership with key weather forecast information. So far, members of NAAC who have used the weather information service are appreciative of the information and believe that it is reliable in helping them plan their farming activities. NAAC is in the process of establishing wheather information services as a revenue-generating system that will sustain and facilitate its business operations and expansion.
Samuel Sentumbwe, the CEO of NAAC appreciates that the data and information generated from the aWhere platform is more accurate, specific, and localized. Previous weather information has been generic, hence few farmers found it useful. According to him, the aWhere forecasts provide more relevant information, specific to their needs, and will certainly be useful in helping farmers schedule their farming activities.
Thanks to the partnership between FtF IAM and aWhere, ten NAAC team members are undergoing regular training on the compilation and analysis of weather data. As NAAC continues to build capacity to provide weather information, more farmers and cooperatives will gain access to key weather information, leading to better production and better climate change resilience.
Author: Dorothy Nabatanzi for FtF IAM