NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
The World Bank and Kenya Agricultural and
Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) on Monday launched a
pilot agricultural observatory platform to enhance access to
high-resolution geospatial agro-meteorology data.
Ladisy Chengula, the
World Bank’s lead agricultural economist, said the platform will
help relay information on when drought and flooding is likely to
occur in the country.
will then be availed to scientists and policy-makers to help
save farmers from making losses,” Chengula said during the
launch of the platform in Nairobi.
The 100 million U.S.
dollar pilot platform will help Kenyan officials predict when
the rains or drought is likely to happen and hence inform
farmers on time, he said.
He said the platform
will also help Kenya in accessing information on weather trends
from the neighboring countries.
Chengula said, the platform will be launched in Ethiopia and the
Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) countries
“The platform will
help improve farmers, agro-pastoralists, pastoralists and
fish-farmers access to timely and appropriate information for
increasing agricultural productivity and building resilience to
climate change risks,” Chengula said.
General Eliud Kireger said 35 staff members are currently
undergoing training on predictive, analytics and integration
diseases, floods, conflict, animal theft, drought and price
volatility are threats to Kenya’s agriculture and livestock
sectors, Kireger said.
“The pilot will help
support decision-making in agriculture since the sector has been
volatile with growth rates dipping into negative,” said Kireger.
He noted that with
the adverse climatic conditions that affect agriculture, there
is need to derive intelligence and insights from predictive data
Kireger said the
sector has faced challenges such as lack of accurate, timely and
reliable weather data, its integration to agricultural research
data and interpretation to support effective decision-making.
“The platform will
aggregate field and farm level data into mapping information
that provide insight in addressing where it rained, where crops
failed and how many people were impacted,” said Kireger.
Communication and Technology Manager Boniface Akuku said the
platform will be powered by new technology.
He said that KALRO
is investing heavily on ICT, big data and mobile applications to
enable farmers receive information quickly and with ease.