Four easy ways to manage Global Commodities Risk with Weather and Agronomic Insight

If you are looking to make life easier for yourself, we are always happy to help. To give you a hand, we've compiled a list of four easy ways to manage Global Commodities Risk with Weather and Agronomic Insight:

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aWhere Participates in the CIRDA Project in Zambia

Two weeks ago, I participated in a United Nations Development Program workshop in Zambia. The CIRDA project is working with 11 African countries to improve the meteorological capacity of those countries in terms of observation networks, services and specifically information dissemination and interactions with public institutions and private enterprise.

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Tracking Sugar and All Agricultural Commodities Production Globally

aWhere, Inc. leverages our 5 arc min (~9km x 9km) global ‘virtual weather station’ database (> 2M daily, current, complete agro-meteorological datasets) to monitor sugar, coffee and all global agriculture/soft commodities with unparalleled spatial and temporal fidelity. 

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ISO crop expectations provide support for world sugar futures

The No.11 market saw the strong surge that we have been anticipating this week, with ICE March-16 futures closing Tuesday’s session up 10.88% at 14.0 and May-16 up 8.31% at 13.82. 

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aWhere to play critical role in making “space age technology” beneficial to farming in Uganda

An aWhere team recently participated in the official launching of the Market-Led User Owned ICT 4Ag Enabled Information Service (MUIIS) in Kampala, Uganda. This new initiative funded by The Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, seeks to improve the productivity of 350,000 Ugandan farmers by providing them with weather data, agronomic information, and financial services.

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Hack4Farming East Africa: Leveraging Global Data to Serve Local Needs

Smallholder farmers across the developing world have an unprecedented amount of hyper-local agriculture information available to them, yet barriers of language and connectivity mean that countless opportunities to make better farm management choices are lost every day. Collaborative networks of value chain actors and technology experts native to developing regions are best situated to overcome these barriers, but how can we best put the information they need – weather data and agronomic tips that increase productivity – in their hands?

aWhere sought to answer this question in a 3-day training and hackathon event, Hack4Farming. Together with co-host Nafundi, aWhere representatives Hanna Camp and Eskinder Zewdu planned Hack4Farming and facilitated the event in Nairobi from October 16-18, 2015. The 53 attending hackers - a mixed group of Nairobi-based software developers and representatives of agricultural development organizations in East Africa – learned about available data resources and formed teams to hack a broad challenge: Leverage an existing communications technology to improve incomes for smallholder farmers.

Together, teams shared experiences and expertise, brainstormed ideas, and chose tools to create prototypes to prove the viability of their idea. We were impressed and excited by the creativity from all the participants, who used aWhere’s Agricultural Intelligence API Platform, along with other APIs, coding resources, and mentoring provided by The Dev School and Africa’s Talking. Teams worked late into Saturday night and convened early Sunday morning, rushing to perfect their ideas in time.

The teams presented to an expert panel of judges, who awarded the top prize to FinAgrow, a prototype mobile platform for farmers to develop business plans with reported crop production and seasonal forecasts. FinAgrow would then connect farmers to banks and local credit institutions where they could use their business plans to verify creditworthiness and receive loans.

If you want to learn more about the hackathon, head over to the aWhere Developer Community Blog, where we’ve highlighted the top three finalists here, or review all of the team presentations at the Hack4Farming Github page. We are thrilled to be part of growing an innovative network of African software developers and agriculture development professionals. There is no doubt that in a rapidly-changing global climate, they will ultimately be the ones to solve local problems using the same API and technology resources available to Silicon Valley, but using local knowledge and remaining sensitive to local needs.

Authors:

Hanna Camp
Eskinder Zewdu
Jeof Oyster

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