Weather Data 'Has Helped African Farmers Boost Production'

Lala Cissokho | SciDev.Net | December 27, 2012

Farming communities in Africa are benefitting from an exchange programme to improve access to, and understanding of, climate science, according to a report presented at a seminar. The seminar, held in in Dakar, Senegal, last month (20–21 November), discussed the results of the programme — which encompassed two demonstration studies in Kenya and Senegal — and identified the opportunities and challenges faced in making better use of short-range forecasts and early-warning systems for flooding.

The demonstration studies were completed in 2011 and demonstrated clear benefits, according to the Humanitarian Futures Programme (HFP) at King's College London, United Kingdom. HFP started the programme in 2009 between climate scientists and development and humanitarian policymakers in Kenya, Senegal and the United Kingdom to use climate science to boost the resilience of communities in the developing world.

The findings show that the programme better-prepared the two countries for floods that hit in 2009, meaning they were able to save their cattle and food supplies...