Combining traditional and modern weather forecasts to better serve farmers

    | April 2, 2012

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    Our first story this week comes from western Kenya. The Kenyan Meteorological Department is working with a family which is renowned for the accuracy of its traditional weather forecasts. Weather forecasts from traditional and modern scientific techniques are combined and synthesized, then broadcast to the local area.

    Cassava is a crop with a bit of an image problem. But, as our story from Tanzania shows, growing and processing cassava is not old news, but a lucrative business. A 25-member farmer group is growing a new disease-tolerant variety of cassava and collaborating with an extension worker and university researchers. The result is increased food security and improved incomes all around.

    Finally, we travel to Rwanda for a story on LED (light-emitting diode) lighting. A company is selling tiny, very bright LED lights to rural people who lack access to electricity. Fisher Daniel Ntibaziyandemye has seen his profit margin rise substantially by switching from battery-operated torches to LED lights. The firm is also giving LED generators to business people. In turn, the entrepreneurs charge a small fee to re-charge LED lights. With this income, the business people quickly repay the company.

    Don’t forget to check out our other sections this week. Our Resource section features a seven-page step-by-step online guide to recording good quality audio on your mobile phone and publishing it on the web.

    Happy reading!

    -The Farm Radio Weekly team