Weather forecast supports semi-arid farming
Over the last five years, members of some farmer groups in Machakos district, Kenya, have been using seasonal weather forecasts to guide their farming decisions. The weather information, provided around one month before planting should start, tells them how much rain they should expect in the coming season, and therefore what types of crops to plant. When rainfall predictions are good, they can invest in hybrid seeds and fertiliser, and maximise their yields. When predictions are for a poor season, choosing drought resistant crops is a better option. Peter Labeja speaks to two farmers and one of the scientists behind the initiative, to find out how successful it has been.
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