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  • Sprout Open Content

New! Hyperlocal Seasonal Forecasts From Sprout

Sprout is partnering with CGIAR EiA and IITA to design, build and pilot a Hyperlocal Seasonal Forecast with and for FFOs and their SSFs in Nigeria this Quarter

All farmers feed weather Information to maximize their yields and earnings. Farmers rely on weather information to make important decisions about planting and harvesting schedules, irrigation, pest and disease control, and animal care. 7-Day hyperlocal weather forecasts like Sprout already offers, supports tactical, daily and weekly decision-making.

However, some of the most important decisions farmers make are more strategic – what to plant and why and how to prepare overall. Will it be drier than normal, or wetter than normal? Hotter or colder? What crops and inputs/seeds should be considered a result? How can I adapt my farm for unexpected rains or droughts?

Through our EiA Partnership, IITA reached out to Sprout to develop with the possibility of offering a Hyperlocal Seasonal Forecast (“Seasonal”) service for FFOs and their farmers based on GPS location. Sprout readily agreed that this was a great opportunity to complete the weather offering for farmers.

As a result, we have co-developed a Seasonal forecast that allows 1,2 & 3 month forecasts in SMS format to be made available to FFOs. They simply upload their farmer or farmer group GPS coordinates and can pull these forecasts on demand, once a month. They then can send them through their standard communications systems for farmers.

The technology behind the service is an IITA developed algorithm using ECMWF Short-Medium term forecasts that is updated monthly and offers hyperlocal forecasts for 3 KM square blocks. Sprout’s transformation team worked with IITA and EiA HCD weather experts to identify the best wording for the forecasts that would be understandable for the farmers. Finally, the Sprout team developed the customization capability on their platform for FFOs to upload farmer data in a private data repository and have it be personalized for each farmer or group based on their location.

We are piloting this service with three key FFOs and their 100 farmers each to learn about their needs and how farmers react to this new service and information. We will then evolve the service and determine how it might be scaled up regionally.

Interested in learning more, or joining the pilot in Nigeria? Reach out to us on digitalweather@sproutopencontent


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