Weather data group plans to expand offering to African farmers

Weather data group plans to expand offering to African farmers

A group that gives African farmers improved access to localised weather data has enjoyed a major boost to its efforts to supply value-added weather intelligence services.

TomorrowNow, a climate-tech non-profit, has announced an additional US$5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to expand its anchor programme, called Osiris, and further unlock and sustain what it calls the transformative potential of next-generation weather and climate data services across Africa.

Osiris represents a foundational strategic investment to enhance the value, adoption and long-term viability of localised weather forecasts and historical climate datasets in Africa aimed at empowering the small-scale producer (SSP) ecosystem.

Following a US$2 million grant in 2021 from the Gates Foundation, TomorrowNow, together with its partners, says it has helped one million African farmers to adapt to climate change and demonstrated the importance of improved access to localised weather data.

In three years, TomorrowNow aims to impact 20 million smallholder farmers by delivering value-added weather intelligence services across the African continent to research organisations, NGOs, multilateral organisations, private service providers, farmer cooperatives and government agencies serving SSPs.

Leveraging significantly improved historical datasets, observations and short-term and seasonal weather forecasts from global technology companies, as well as working closely with local government and local private/NGO partners, TomorrowNow says this initiative is set to revolutionise farming in the region.

It will democratise access to next-generation weather and climate information for frontline organisations serving farmers, as well as scientists pushing new innovations for the food system, improving areas ranging from crop simulation for climate-resilient seed breeding to regenerative farming practices.

The hope is that, by enabling access to weather intelligence for frontline farmer-facing organisations and key research organisations, fuelled by transformative philanthropy, local farming communities in Africa can contribute to next-generation food systems that will be sustainable, improve crop yields, and ensure a more reliable future for all.

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