From open weather data to accessible weather information services for smallholder farmers
This policy brief (PDF) by CTA outlines the importance and benefits that can be derived from weather data in agriculture and nutrition, the challenges in the weather data value chain and recommendations to address these challenges. Weather data is used by providers of ICT services, extensionists, and farm advisors to generate added value through combining this data with soil data, crop data, agronomic knowledge and bringing this knowledge to farmers through a variety of services. Providing weather data-based support to farmers goes beyond being familiar and being able to work with weather data. It requires a broader view on standards, capacity development, entrepreneurship, partnerships and impact measurement. Policy recommendations are, firstly, that capacity building should be tailor-made for all stakeholders in the value chain, ranging from the provider level to the intermediary’s level and the level of end users. Secondly, increased technical support for data collection and exchange is needed. Thirdly, viable business models should be developed that provide incentives for various entities to collect and share weather data. Fourth, partnerships and collaboration between stakeholders is required for co-creating the open weather data value chain, bundling services and packaging different data sources. Finally, impact should be measured since it is critical to ensure weather data services are made sustainable in the long term.