SMP-2011 | Agro-meteorological advisory services for Africa

Bert van ReesSMP-projecten

Project title: Agro-meteorological advisory services for Africa
Project number: SMP-2011
Requesting country: Kenya
Year: 2020
Budget: € 40,000
Project leader: Hendrik Boogaard
Knowledge institute: Wageningen University & Research
Project partners: Cereal Growers Association, Hydrologic, Sugar Research Institute, WAM, Weather Impact


Summary
Farmers in sub saharan Africa (SSA) face enormous challenges due to a changing climate, limited farm inputs, poor physical, financial and socio-economic infrastructure and lack of information to make informed decisions. Farmers in SSA operate in different food systems (traditional, intermediate, modern) and geographies with different levels of climate risks and goals (maintain self-sufficiency, sustainably produce for export and limit food imports to acceptable levels). In all cases there is an urgent need to transform these systems from a soil-mining and low productivity activity towards a sustainable and efficient activity with appropriate use of inputs. To answer all these challenges and uncertainties, the different players operating in the agro-sector, need accurate and reliable information services to support decisions around farm and crop management, application of farm inputs (seeds, nutrients, water), logistics and storage of farm outputs (produced goods) and managing risks (provision of credit and insurance). Such services will help to mitigate risks of decreased productivity (or even crop failure), in-efficient use of input, less effective logistics, inability to repay loans etc. Currently several agro-advisory services do exist in SSA but these are usually developed and operated within the context of a project lacking the proper balance between good business and institutional models, to sustain services after the project’s lifetime. It is key that services are relevant (right type of advice), affordable (preferably free for smallholders), accurate and reliable (sustained service delivery), as well as institutionally viable.

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