Weather and temperature play a significant role in African Agriculture as Digital Agriculture is yet to be profound in most aspects of the African Agriculture Value Chain (Farm To Table). The need for weather stations cannot be over emphasized.
Kenya’s ministry of environment on Monday benefited from an automated weather forecast device donated by China to efforts to upgrade meteorological services in the East African nation gathers steam.
Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources, Judi Wakhungu, said at the handover ceremony of China-aided automatic weather stations that the device will improve Kenya’s capacity to predict and report weather patterns on real time basis.
“Today marks another milestone for meteorological services,” Wakhungu remarked, adding that four other automatic weather stations donated by China have boosted modernization of meteorological infrastructure in Kenya.
Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa attended the handover ceremony of the automatic weather station that was installed at the University of Nairobi’s College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences.
Wakhungu noted the five automatic weather stations are an upgraded version of their traditional counterparts and are equipped with sensors capable of measuring wind speed and direction, humidity, radiation and rainfall amount.
“The station can be deployed even in remote areas and operates round the clock since it gets power from the sun and has an internal rechargeable battery that serves as a backup,” said Wakhungu.
She added the five automatic weather stations donated by China will complement 72 others previously acquired by the Kenyan government to boost weather forecasting in the country.
On his part, Liu said the donation of the automated weather monitoring device is in line with Beijing’s goal to strengthen cooperation with Nairobi in the field of environment.
He was optimistic the device will boost weather forecasting and disaster mitigation in Kenya.
The automatic weather stations donated by China have enhanced Kenya’s ability to collect and transmit weather related data to end users in critical sectors like agriculture, energy, transport, and health.
Samuel Mwangi, a senior official at Kenya Meteorological Department, said China aided automatic weather stations have transformed collection and dissemination of weather information in the country.
For Food Security and less Post Harvest Loss (PHL), the China and Kenya partnership in the areas metrology, Agriculture and Climate Change is beneficial.