Daily Weather Forecasts Sent via SMS are Transforming Farmers' Lives in West Africa
Ignitia, a high-tech social enterprise, has joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) with a commitment to deliver reliable, targeted, low-cost tropical weather forecasts via text messages to 1.2 million small-scale farmers in west Africa by the end of 2017. BCtA is a global initiative that encourages companies to fight poverty through inclusive business models. It is supported by the United Nations development programme (UNDP) and other international organisations.
Small-scale farmers in the tropics have limited access to reliable weather forecasts, which seriously constrains their ability to plan farming activities. To fill this gap, Ignitia created a forecasting model that creates reliable, GPS-specific weather forecasts. Two-day, monthly and seasonal forecasts are sent to customers via SMS. Launched in Ghana in 2014, iska has proven to be 84% accurate compared with global forecasts, such as those found on the BBC or CNN, which only achieve 39% accuracy in west Africa.