Precipitation plays an important role in agriculture; this is especially true in developing countries, where rain fed agriculture is the dominant form of food production
For farmers who rely on rainfall, the complexities of climate change are magnified. With limited access to weather information, farmers in the developing world often rely on seasonal knowledge and rainfall patterns to plan their season. Climate change, which is leading to greater weather variability and more erratic weather patterns, will diminish these farmers' ability to rely on past knowledge to inform farming practices.
aWhere is pursuing innovative ICT solutions to address the lack of access to localized, interpretable information for farmers. Recently, the aWhere Platform, which offers open access to highly localized weather data through a web-based interface, incorporated a new global weather resource: satellite-derived precipitation data created through Colorado State University's Cooperative Institute through Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA). This newly incorporated product has better spatial and temporal resolution than existing sources and begins to address the need for accurate precipitation data in remote regions of the world.
While localized weather information is not a solution to the threats on agriculture and food production posed by climate change; it offers a useful tool to support the global development community’s efforts to sustain and intensify agricultural production to feed a growing world population. For farmers who practice rain fed agriculture, this new resource will help to plan and manage growing seasons, enable in-season decision making, and provide overall visibility into rainfall patterns for a region.