aWhere and CGIAR’s BIG DATA Platform announces open access to Maps for Economic Resilience
HYDERABAD, TELANGANA, INDIA, October 20, 2019 — aWhere in partnership with the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture today announced free and open access to its Maps for Economic Resilience (Maps4ER) to help farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and India combat climate change.
The news was announced by David Bergvinson, aWhere’s Chief Science Officer on the final day of CGIAR´s BIG DATA Conference – TRUST: Humans, Machines & Ecosystems – held at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), in Hyderabad, India.
Bergvinson announced aWhere would open its geospatial data subscription to CGIAR and other researchers around the world, enabling them to gain insights into weather trends and provide timely advice to farmers and to policymakers looking to make strategic climate change adaptive investments.
“The geospatial format of this data enables researchers to use it to build on their current research and add a time dimension to the advisory services they develop to empower smallholder farmers to adapt to climate change. It´s a bridge between the world of modeling and the world of mapping,” said Bergvinson.
The announcement is a direct response to the call to action made in September 2019 by former UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, and other global leaders like Bill Gates, to leverage innovation, prioritize investments and to forge partnerships to help the most vulnerable adapt to climate change.
Agriculture is a weather-driven sector, and weather data is critical to increase productivity, profitability and to enhance our food systems’ resilience to weather variability due to climate change. With smallholder farmers being the most vulnerable and impacted by increasing weather variability, daily weather data can empower them to make better decisions.
“Having this data in the hands of analysts around the globe will help the entire agriculture value chain adapt to climate change and empower farmers, especially those in rainfed agriculture,” says John Corbett, CEO of aWhere.
Brian King, Coordinator of the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture added that “linking the timely weather data to geospatial analysis is key to scaling innovations and help farmers in real-time. aWhere has been an important partner to achieve that.”
The initial success of such a partnership was proven when aWhere provided its weather data to ICRISAT and Microsoft in 2016 to signal when smallholder groundnut farmers could safely plant their crops to increase production.
“The challenge for devising locally relevant agro-advisories which incorporate climate risk has always been obtaining data on weather, soils and farmer practices,” said Anthony Whitbread, a research program director at ICRISAT.
Weather data from over 350,000 virtual weather stations across sub-Saharan Africa and India will enable researchers, analysts and managers to generate weather insights to enable a coordinated response and solutions to adapt to climate change.
The weather data resources can be accessed at aWhere.com to help farmers and society adapt to climate change.
About aWhere: aWhere is a Certified Benefit Corporation with the goal to leverage global observed weather data to help farmers increase their productivity, incomes, and ability to manage risks due to weather variability. Our 1.7 million weather stations globally ensure all communities have access to local weather data to inform decisions that help #AdaptOurWorld – Now! https://www.awhere.com/
About CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture: The Platform for Big Data in Agriculture is a CGIAR research program using big data to solve agricultural development problems faster, better and at a greater scale. It is one of the three CGIAR research platforms and is carried out with support from the CGIAR Trust Fund, UKAID and through bilateral funding agreements. https://bigdata.cgiar.org/