ATPS Wins the Tekeleza Climate Information Prize

ATPS WINS THE TEKELEZA CLIMATE INFORMATION PRIZE AWARD

The African Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS) emerged a winner in the Tekeleza Prize Award that saw ATPS take home a Runners’ up cash prize of USD 35, 000 among other prizes for promoting the adoption of the LandInfo mobile app technology in Kenya. The event took place in Nairobi at the Radisson Blu hotel in Upperhill on 29th November 2018. The Tekeleza Prize award is part of the Climate Information Prize (CIP) that awards cash prizes to entrepreneurs and innovators who come up with new solutions that use climate information in some ways to support vulnerable individuals, households and communities in Kenya. Winning solutions will enable vulnerable individuals and households to access products and services that make use of climate information, in order to better tackle climate uncertainty and risk. Such solutions must benefit wide range of stakeholders including women, men, youth, disabled, and the vulnerable and enable them access climate information services for building their resilient capacities against the impacts of climate change.

The LandInfo app is a community-driven mobile technology that enables users to instantaneously access climatic and soil information and be able to interpret them in the context of local conditions and values, including crop preferences for specific soils for optimal productivity under any prevailing climatic condition. Users are able to target investments on land for specific purposes. With knowledge on annual average rainfall and temperature distributions, average water retention capacity of soils, length of growing periods that any soil can sustain to support crop/plant life, elevations, aridity index and soil types among others, farmers and pastoralists (for instance) are able to plan their farming enterprises (production, processing, marketing, management and utilization) adequately to avoid losses due to climate variability and hence improve agricultural productivity and climate change resilience.

The Landinfo app was applauded for its benefits to a wide range of users ranging from crop producers, livestock keepers, extension officers, land use managers to policymakers in providing timely and location specific data and information for decision-making. The app enables users to make decisions on aspects such as when to expect rains or droughts, when to plant crops and harvest, the type of crops that suit any specific soils for optimal productivity under prevailing climates, when to sun-dry harvested crop products and when to destock and restock livestock due to expected droughts and predicted availability of forage.

ATPS has also developed a crop-soil matrix on 75 staple crops in Africa and matched them with the suitable soils for maximum productivity under any prevailing climatic conditions. This has resulted in high crop yields from particular soils for LandInfo users. Already, an impact assessment on the use of the app by farmers and pastoralists funded by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA), The Netherlands confirms that over 80% of the users are satisfied with the app and agreed that it has impacted positively to increasing crop yields and building their resilience capacities.

ATPS has currently trained over 4500 users and sensitized additional 5000 in Kenya on the use of the LandInfo mobile app specifically in Baringo, Kisumu, Meru, Migori, Nakuru and Nairobi Counties. There are plans to extend the technology to the other counties in Kenya once supports are received. Supports have been received already from the Kenyan Government through the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) of the Ministry of Agriculture. Other supports for the out-scaling of LandInfo have been received from the African Development Bank, the African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS) and the National Research Fund (NRF), Kenya. More supports from development partners and governments are being solicited to enable ATPS and partners reach out to other counties in Kenya and across the African continent with the technology. There is need for deliberate efforts to fund the up-scaling and out-scaling of the LandInfo mobile app technology by development partners, national government and regional bodies so as to realize massive adoption of the technology which consequently through the services it provides will improve agricultural productivity and climate change resilience especially among vulnerable communities.

Recall that in 2016 the LandInfo app also won the Wazo Climate Information Prize in Kenya that supported innovations with a business idea using climate information to develop a solution that will help the vulnerable adapt to climate variability and change. During the award ceremony of the Wazo Prize, the Tekeleza Prize was launched. ATPS was motivated by the Wazo Prize it received to promote the LandInfo technology in Kenya and with seed funds received from development partners and governments which resulted in the achievement of great impacts in Kenya leading to the winning of the Tekeleza Prize.

Receiving the Tekeleza Climate Information Prize Award, the Executive Director of ATPS, Dr Nicholas Ozor commended the organizers of the Prize Award for the great initiative to spur innovations and build the resilience capacities of communities and vulnerable groups against the impact of climate change using technologies and innovative tools. He promised to continue to work together with development partners, agencies and governments to out-scale the LandInfo mobile app as a technology for improving agricultural productivity and climate change resilience in Africa. The Tekeleza Prize is organized by the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD), Ideas to Impact, CARDNO and CAMCO and funded by the UKaid’s Department for International Development (DFID).

For more information about the Tekeleza Prize Award, kindly visit the website at: http://www.climateinformationprize.org/tekeleza-winners/

For more information about the LandInfo mobile app technology being promoted at the ATPS, kindly contact:

Dr. Nicholas Ozor,

Executive Director, African Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS).

Email: executivedirector@atpsnet.org

Tel: +254 20 2714092

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8th Floor, The Chancery, Valley Road

P. O Box 10081-00100, Nairobi-Kenya.

Tel: +254 20 2714092

Email: administrator@atpsice.org

 

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