Agro-Weather Services in Public-Private Partnership: LESSONS FROM THE SESAME GROWING ZONES IN NORTH-WEST ETHIOPIA

The risks of crop failure due to climate change-induced weather variability are highest in small-scale agriculture, which is often rain-fed. On the positive side, mobile phones and other new communication technologies offer great opportunities to digitalize agricultural services, especially in remote places. Weather and climate information services are also improving thanks to the widespread availability of satellite data, while web-interfaces, APIs and other IT technology enable easy dissemination of this information.

This article highlights these opportunities and how we have put them into practice in North-West Ethiopia in a public-private partnership of Ethiopian and Dutch partners. Thanks to this partnership, around 10,000 farmers in Ethiopia’s sesame-growing area now receive a weather forecasting service on their mobile phone. In this article we share lessons learned from five-year programme and also our views on improving and sustainably implementing last-mile weather and climate services.

This article highlights that National Meteorological and Hydrological Services play an essential role in the partner chain of weather services. They are the mandated institution and need to be at the core of the service development. Yet most of these institutes in Africa lack the capacity and financial resources to take on this role. We believe that public-private partnerships have the potential to empower these institutions to take on this challenging task. This article contains practical ideas on how a sustainable partnership can be achieved, with our aim being to share the lessons we learned in Ethiopia. (read the full report here)

OCT 2020 – Weather Impact, SBN, NMA

Authors: Fiona van der Burgt (WI), Melisew Misiker Belay (SBN), Asaminew Teshome Game (NMA), Tomaso Ceccarelli (WEnR), Geremew Gashawbeza (SBN), Amare Mugoro

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