Kisumu County government is set to build seven modern automatic weather stations that are poised to help farmers in planning when to plant and harvest hence improving their yields.
The project which is expected to cost Sh35m was commissioned three days ago at Ayueyo village where one such station costing Sh5m was started.
“With the weather stations in place, it will be easier for farmers to predict when to cultivate cash crops such as potatoes, rice, maize in real time,” said Paul Oloo, the county’s director of meteorological services.
“Information from weather stations will be used for research to optimise crop irrigation patterns, pest control models and ultimately improve the quality of crops.”
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Monitoring soil moisture and temperature and maintaining these parameters at the correct levels is crucial for cash crops that have short harvest cycles.
Data on temperature and wind speed, he added, would also help determine the right time to spray pesticides.
“The weather station will help individual farmers to determine whether a particular region is ideal to grow a specific crop depending on soil texture,” said Mathews Owili, Kisumu County deputy governor.
Farmers will also be warned in advance about adverse weather conditions such as hail storms and excessive or deficient rains.
The new weather station has a data logger component that will relay information to farmers, fishermen and line county officials simultaneously.
It will provide temperature, wind speed and direction, humidity, soil conditions, rainfall quantities and other variables every five minutes to a 15km radius.