Reliable weather forecast via Messenger by Oshin Sharma

  • 2023-06-29
  • Christina Pfänder
  • Comment
Corn cob with green leaves growth in the field of outdoor agriculture
© Getty Images/Kwangmoozaa

The Community Challenge represented an inspiring challenge for me. The competition has encouraged me to pitch innovative ideas, think critically about project design and further develop my approach to contributing towards efficient and sustainable agriculture in the hilly region of Nepal. I was also given valuable tips on how to effectively present my ideas to potential stakeholders and investors.

My project investigates the extent to which changes in weather patterns caused by climate change impact the decision-making processes of maize growers in the village of Maduwa in Nepal. I know the approaches and challenges there very well, because my grandparents live in Maduwa. Growers there usually rely on the knowledge and experience gleaned from their ancestors: rain is required a few weeks after sowing, since the topography and the dry season make regular irrigation of the fields almost impossible. Climate change is however resulting in a decline in the reliability of traditional weather forecasts, and irregular rainfall is threatening all cultivation.

I’ve therefore suggested providing maize growers with reliable weather forecasts via SMS and messenger services to mitigate risks and improve overall resilience. I was able to convince the growers of this approach, and I’m now in the process of developing the idea further in the direction of a sustainable social enterprise in Nepal. I also became involved in a project organised by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), which pursues similar objectives: it also involves improving the parameters for inclusive local economic development in Nepal and adapting agricultural practices to climate change.

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