Weather forecasting training

Weather forecasting can be taken as one of the central tasks to ensure high productivity and quality of sesame. Sesame is one of the crops which are highly influenced by variable weather condition starting from planting to harvesting and storage.

In most of the cases, sesame producer farmers in the north-western part of Ethiopia has been getting weather forecast information through mass media in general for the entire region whereas weather variability is high from woreda to woreda and even at kebele level. Due to this beginning from last year, Benefit-SBN in collaboration with National Metrology Agency (NMA) and CommonSense project started a pilot project which provides weather forecast information via Short Message Service (SMS) for their localized kebeles to individual farmers via their phone.

According to last year user’s assessment, almost all of the interviewed farmers confirmed that they used the SMS to adjust their farm activities using the weather forecast information. Farmers suggest improvement on the SMS both in quality and delivery. As a result of this, improvements and new additions were made to the SMS text to make it clear and more understandable to the beneficiaries.

As a continuation of this activity,  112 professionals (of which 33 were female) were trained as trainers on the weather forecast in June 2018. The participants were development agents, Woreda agricultural experts and geography teachers of some selected kebeles.

The overall objective of the training was to raise experts awareness on the content and meaning of the message so that they can provide farm advice based on the weather information.