Climate change has had a devastating effect on farmer’s livelihood and farming in East Africa and beyond. To address climate-related challenges faced by farmers, CGIAR came up with a campaign dubbed Let It Rain.
The campaign's main goal was to gamify weather prediction to incentivize farmers' uptake of localised agro-advisories and help crowdsource weather information, which will further improve weather forecasts.
Let It Rain proved to be a game-changer in Kenya’s agricultural sector as it enhanced farmers’ awareness of the ongoing climate change and set up their planting dates well, avoiding planting on unseemly occasions and realise greater yields. According to a CGIAR report, a ten-day planting delay can lessen yields by half.
Farmers need to be equipped with adequate, reliable information, therefore, Let It Rain came in handy for farmers to know the start of the rains, stirring up a national discussion on the relevance of weather forecasts in farming.
2020’s edition of the game proved to be a success story in sensitising farmers on the significance of weather forecasting. Winners of the challenge walked away with a cash prize of One million Shillings which was spread across 10 counties and free access to iShamba services.
Some of the winners have effectively utilised their earnings on their farms and shared their stories to iShamba.
"Being a Let It Rain winner, the cash I won, I invested in my potato farm and I bought 4 bags of 50kg of fertilizer,” said a farmer from Elgeyo Marakwet.
Another farmer narrated how he had ventured into poultry farming courtesy of the cash prize from iShamba and is planning to expand the business because of the success of the project.
“First I would like to appreciate the token I got from Let It Rain competition, that money helped me construct a poultry house and purchased chick and drugs today as I send this message am known of selling eggs and chicken for meat, hopefully soon am planning to buy hatchery thanks so much iShamba,” said a farmer from Trans-Nzoia.
Another winner from Kericho County expressed his gratefulness to iShamba as he used the cash to put up a house.
“I was constructing a mud house, but I bought timber and constructed a timber house when I got the money. Forever grateful. Live long iShamba,” expressed the winner.
Having resources and access to information considering climate change will enable farmers to predict when the rains might come in their areas and plant in time, hence increasing their yields.
Watch out for the Let It Rain second edition.