Application of Weather Forecasts in Agriculture

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Communicating Agro meteorological Information to Smallholder Irrigation Farmers in Kenya

Food insecurity among smallholder farmers has been a result of the inability of households to produce all its food requirements due to lack of access to productive resources and unfavourable production environment among other factors.

Smallholder farmers tend to be risk averse, they avoid investing in capital intensive production to avoid increasing their levels of risk arising from crop failures due to weather and climate variability.

A a study was carried out to investigate the access and factors that influence the utility of agro meteorological information by smallholder irrigation farmers in Lari Wendani and Perkerra irrigation schemes in Kenya.Results indicated that 98% of the farmers were able to access agro meteorological information through radio.

More than 60% indicated that they could not access meteorological information from bulletins, mobile, internet and extension services.The factors affecting farmers’ adoption of agro meteorological information were related to the inaccuracy of forecasts; inadequate weather forecasts information for meaningful decisions and the delay in releasing seasonal forecasts giving farmers less time to make preparations.

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