Ignitia delivers SMS-based, short-term weather forecasts to smallholder farmers in tropical areas. Regular, accurate weather forecasting helps farmers to make well-informed decisions and optimise their farming practices.  

Ignitia uses highly localised weather forecasting models to deliver timely, accurate weather forecasts to farmers in tropical areas. They collect high-resolution weather data using remote sensing technology and satellites, due to the lack of quality data available from ground monitoring stations in Sub-Saharan Africa. The data is processed remotely in Stockholm, and then each morning, a GPS-specific 48-hour forecast is delivered to farmers by SMS. They estimate these forecasts to be twice as accurate as conventional forecasting systems, with 84% accuracy, because they are specifically tailored to the different weather conditions in tropical regions.

Tropical weather patterns are challenging to predict accurately – in higher and lower latitudes, weather patterns are influenced by large scale temperature and pressures changes, but in tropical areas the weather is driven by convective processes that happen on a much smaller scale and much more quickly. Therefore, conventional forecasting systems, which analyse weather in 50km grids often miss these small, rapid changes and deliver inaccurate predictions. Ignitia’s forecasting models analyse weather patterns in 3km grids, allowing them to identify the development of tropical storms and more accurately predict weather.  

The service was developed in Ghana and has now been extended to a number of West African countries. Ignitia estimates that they have already delivered over 8.5 million localised weather predictions to date.

Why you should care

Being able to accurately predict weather is crucial for smallholder farmers to make well-informed decisions. For instance, if farmers know that it will rain in the coming days, they will not apply fertiliser and pesticide only to have it washed away. In addition, accurate weather information will help to mitigate the impacts of changing weather patterns associated with climate change. Ignitia estimates that some of their customers have experienced up to an 80% increase in income by avoiding crop losses from adverse weather conditions.

How the Global Goals are addressed

Zero hunger

Ignitia can help to substantially increase agricultural productivity and improve resilience in less developed tropical countries, contributing to food security.

Climate action

Access to reliable weather forecasting assists farmers in tropical regions in adapting to increasingly volatile weather patterns associated with climate change.