Every stage of the farming cycle is dependent on weather, so farmers need forecasts to manage their daily/seasonal activities.
Every year, disasters caused by climate extremities such as severe storms, floods, heat waves and droughts lead to significant losses of life and socioeconomic activities. These disasters can significantly compromise development and growth, particularly in countries with the least capacity to respond.
It is expected that as climate change unfolds, the frequency and intensity of climate related shocks will change, therefore improving Early Warning Systems (EWSs) is one way to respond to the changing climate. As an adaptive measure, EWS also benefit smallholder food producers in Ghana. Implementation of successful EWSs require collaboration at all levels and need for efficient and proven scientific models for improved weather prediction. This is expected to enable crop, livestock and fish farmers adequately prepare and carry out their activities in good time for maximum productivity.
The Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMA) provides weather forecast information albeit with weak models and generic information. With the increasing need for a more consistent location-specific weather forecast information and efficient messaging, some technology companies in Ghana have stepped up to the challenge.
They have been providing market-efficient forecast information even though their revenue sustainability models and impact is documented to be very low in the absence of grant financing.
Most of these companies do not generate their own weather forecast models due to the fact that they do not have meteorological data acquisition knowledge and resources, neither do they own proprietary weather prediction algorithms. The latter requiring great computational power and highly efficient mathematical modelling.
These companies therefore pick the processed data from their respective partner organisations across the globe in a revenue-sharing arrangement. Listed in alphabetical order, these technology companies are known to provide quality weather forecast information to farmers in Ghana:
¬ Esoko ( via their insyt application)
¬ Farmerline (via their application called mergdata)
¬ Ignitia ( via their channel called iska)
¬ Syecomp ( via the Farmer Helpline channel)
It is interesting to note that three out of the five listed companies have foreign-ownership but local presence, indicating the rich market opportunities identified in Ghana’s agricultural space.
Agribusinesses, Farmer Based Organisations/Cooperatives, and NGOs focused on agriculture projects interested in receiving timely and proven daily or weekly weather forecast information could connect with these companies for paid weather information services.
Editor’s Note: If there are some other verified companies providing similar services in Ghana that we have not identified, kindly send us a mail and we will follow-up for the needed update to this article.
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