MTN Ghana in partnership with IgnitiaGhana Ltd, is introducing the world’s first highly accurate tropical weather forecast. The forecast is known as ISKA Weather, and enable farmers to make informed decisions on when to carry out weather dependent activities, such as planting, fertilizing, chemical spraying, and harvesting.
The forecasts are specific to their farm location, which means two neighbouring farmers might receive different forecasts. In practice this is how tropical weather also works; it might rain on one side of the village but not the other.
Subscribers to the ISKA weather service, will receive 5 text messages per week during the rainy season after dialling *455# to activate the service. Each SMS costs 8p. The accuracy rate of ISKA Weather is up to 84 per cent compared to other weather services, which average about 40 per cent in the West African region.
The Chief Marketing Officer of MTN, Rahul De, indicated that MTN as the leading telecoms service provider with the widest coverage in the country, was focused on using mobile technology to offer services that creates convenience for its customers.
The ISKA weather service provides MTN an opportunity to support agricultural development in the country, especially because local farming activities are highly dependent on the weather condition on a particular day, Rahul De says.
With the ISKA weather service, farmers can undertake activities such as sowing, using fertilizers, and spraying pesticides without the risk of having it all washed off by heavy rain, which will ultimately contribute to increased yields by a significant margin, help in crop loss prevention and also effectively save cost on inputs as farmers will be able to plan well ahead of time, Mr. De adds.
The service is also targeted at the general public who need highly accurate information about the weather to plan their daily activities. It will also help business people to improve in planning their activities and events.