The Municipal Agricultural Extension Officer of Yilo Krobo Municipal Assembly, Dr. Francis Nii Clottey Odonkor, has commended Ignitia Ghana Limited for introducing its weather forecasting services to farmers in the municipality.
He said the service has enabled farmers to access frequent and location-specific predictions for rainfall, dry spells and drought.
This, according to him, allows for advanced warnings of upcoming rains or dry days in various communities, aiding farmers in proactive farm management, adding that the demonstrated impact of the weather forecast service on farms established by Ignitia Ghana Ltd. in the communities “has helped farmers better understand and appreciate its benefits”.
Dr. Odonkor made these remarks while participating in a maize harvesting event at the demonstration farms located in the Obawale and Sodjonu communities within the Yilo Krobo Municipality.
Ignitia Ghana Ltd. is a firm that provides weather forecast service and climate smart solutions to help farmers mitigate the effects of climate change through smart phones and Short Message Services (SMS).
Dr. Odonkor said the demonstration farms have encouraged the farmers to embrace the service adding, “the positive response from farmers at Ignitia’s demonstration farms underscores their eagerness to adopt this innovative approach for improving yields”.
Ignitia used the demonstration farms in the two communities to demonstrate to the farmers how the use of the forecast service could help the farmers to increase their yields.
The company used two farms of equal size, employing the weather forecast to plan and plant maize in one, while using the conventional weather pattern for planting in the other.
Addressing the farmers, Business Advisor for Ignitia, Miranda Pabby, said it was clear the accurate weather predictions helped in obtaining higher germination rate and yield.
She said the farms attained 430 plant stands and 430 cobs during harvesting. In contrast, the farmers’ demonstration field, lacking access to these services and a specific planting date, produced 320 plant stands and 297 cobs on the designated land size used for yield estimations.
Delivering reliable forecast
Ms. Pabby continued that the primary objective of the company was to collaborate with agribusinesses working with small-scale farmers in Ghana and throughout West and East Africa by delivering reliable SMS forecasts to mitigate risks and losses due the climate.
More than 80 maize farmers in Obawale and Sodjonu communities, who took part in the programme, were excited about the results and commended Ignitia Ghana Ltd. for introducing them to the weather forecast SMS services.
John Kwame Mautsuemi and Ama Augustina Amanor, maize farmers in the Obawale community, said previously, they used to harvest between five and seven bags per acre unlike now, where they harvested between twelve and fifteen bags on the same land size.
“We also express gratitude to Ignitia Ghana for supporting farmers by providing us with innovative SMS weather alert services,” they said.