Farmers can now get weather updates straight on their mobile phone following the launch of a new app.
Known as mFarms, the app enables farmers to use technology to predict the weather patterns so that they can prepare for the planting seasons or in case of extremities.
“What this means is that weather forecasts will no longer be the forte of government agencies like the Meteorological Department, because anyone with access to a mobile phone can get weather information in real-time,” said Kwame Adom, a software developer with the Accra based Image-Ad, while recently launching it through the support of Alliance for a Green Revolution (AGRA) under the Agribusiness Management Solution for Competitive Agriculture project.
He noted that all farmers need is the geographic location of a particular farm and then using Global Positioning System, the satellites pick the required information.
“We will be able to customise the communication hub to any local language,” says Kwame, noting other countries where the app and others is used include Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Malawi and Mozambique.
The satellite information is relayed with the help of American National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
“Through the satellites, we are able to predict weather patterns going back nine years that we share with 300,000 farmers in 19 African countries,” he said.
“The satellite is able to pick historical data on rainfall, and other weather conditions like dry spells,” said the Ghanaian.
Kwame said that in the African countries mFarms operates, he has seen young people increasingly take up farming, a phenomenon which is also happening in Kenya.