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Urgent Need for Climate Adaptation Brings $100M Investment to 20M African Farmers

A supergroup consisting of Tomorrow.io, TomorrowNow.org, KALRO, CGIAR, MercyCorps Agrifin  (through the Sprout initiative) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation combine forces to accelerate next-generation weather intelligence for smallholder farmers across Africa.

Sharm El Sheik, Egypt – Tomorrow.io, the world’s leading weather and climate adaptation platform, together with non-profit partner TomorrowNow.org, announced on the COP 27 Presidency Main Stage a new initiative bringing next-generation weather intelligence technology to more than 20 million farmers across Africa. Partnering with organizations including KALRO, CGIAR, MercyCorps Agrifin-Sprout and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the result of this collective effort will significantly improve productivity and resilience of African farmers, who are at the frontline of the devastating impacts of weather variability triggered by climate change. . Tomorrow.io is contributing $80 million over 5 years toward the rainfall measuring satellite constellation, development of next-gen AI-based forecast models and data analysis tools; and a tailored data and software service suite for providing hyperlocal agriculture decision support. TomorrowNow.org is raising $20M in transformative capital to accelerate inclusive impact, with a focus on smallholder farmers, women, and youth.

“Through the use of Tomorrow.io’s weather intelligence and constellation, farmers will be able to know the ideal times to plant and harvest crops,” said Rei Goffer, CSO and Co-founder at Tomorrow.io. “By better understanding the predicted weather impact, local communities are able to meaningfully improve their crop yields, food security, and household income.” 

In addition to its industry-leading weather intelligence, Tomorrow.io is also launching its own constellation consisting of homegrown proprietary satellites equipped with radar starting in the coming months. With space-based satellites as the most critical component to weather forecasting, especially for the regions with sparse ground stations, the constellation will improve data refresh rates from the current global standard of three days to three hours. 

“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to utilize transformational philanthropy to empower communities in critical need with the most cutting-edge technology,” said Georgina Campbell Flatter, Co-Founder and Executive Director at TomorrowNow.org. “By leveraging a significant investment from the private sector combined with a major philanthropic multi-stakeholder effort we can impact lives today and catalyze the partnerships necessary for long-term transformation”.

Rather than focusing on smallholder farmers alone, the driving business principle behind this initiative is the enablement of inclusive impact and long-term financial sustainability, eventually eliminating the dependency on external capital injection in the form of grants, soft loans, or other through innovative engagements across the public, private, NGO sectors. 

“What makes this partnership unique is not only the collaboration between each of our organizations, but our collective focus on working together for inclusive climate action,” said Boniface Akuku, Director of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization at KALRO. “Making local communities, women and youth a focal point of this initiative from the ground up ensures the programs we put in place will have the level of adoption and longer-term adaptability needed to be successful.” 

 “Indeed, climate change has presented a new normal that demands that we do things differently. Africa faces extremely challenging agricultural conditions and needs scaled reach of weather information to farmers and organizations at an affordable cost,” said Sieka Gatabaki, Director, Mercy Corps Agrifin. “Access to much improved digital weather forecasts and early warning systems will ensure farmer-facing organizations, local communities, and smallholders will be enabled and equipped to adapt and become more climate change resilient for decades to come.” 

 This announcement is part of a major global AIM FOR CLIMATE Innovation Sprint, announced at COP27 on the Presidency Main Stage alongside leaders from the Department of Agriculture from both the U.S. and Egypt, Global Methane Hub, UNFCCC, and John Kerry, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. The Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate) initiative seeks to drive more rapid and transformative climate action in the agricultural sector.

An AIMS innovation sprint is an increase in aggregate self-financed investment from non-government partners to achieve an outcome/output in agriculture innovation and for climate-smart agriculture (CSA) and food systems to be completed in an expedited time frame.

About TomorrowNow.org

TomorrowNow.org is a global nonprofit taking urgent action to ensure that everyone can adapt and thrive in a changing climate. The consequences of climate change are unfolding now. Those most in need are least equipped to adapt and act. Phenomenal weather and climate innovations are emerging across the world that can make a difference now but are not (and may never) reach those most in need without rapid and intentional intervention. TomorrowNow is that intervention! We leverage transformative philanthropy to: 

  • ACT NOW We connect (and unlock the value of) next gen weather and climate innovations for at-risk communities today  
  • FOR TOMORROW We invest in solutions that will lead to robust national weather and climate systems and market-based solutions for underserved regions – best-in-class, affordable, sustainable 
  • TOGETHER It takes a village. We amplify the voice of farmers, the youth and women! We unite the public, private and NGO sectors. We apply user-driven innovation processes and catalyze the partnerships critical for localization and rapid scale. 

About Tomorrow.io

Tomorrow.io is the world’s leading climate adaptation platform. Powered by its proprietary weather intelligence, teams use Tomorrow.io to predict, prepare for and mitigate the impact of weather. With automated predictive insights and alerts, users proactively improve operational efficiency, minimize disruptions, and avoid safety risks using Tomorrow.io‘s software platform or API. Fully customizable to any industry or job, customers around the world, including the NFL, Uber, Delta, Ford, National Grid, and more are using Tomorrow.io to adapt and thrive in an era of climate crisis.

About CGIAR 

CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food-secure future dedicated to transforming food, land, and water systems in a climate crisis. CGIAR research aims to reduce rural poverty, increase food security, improve human health and nutrition, and sustainable management of natural resources. It is carried out at 15 centers (CGIAR Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers) that collaborate with partners from national and regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia, development organizations, and the private sector. These research centers are around the globe, with most in the Global South and Vavilov Centers of agricultural crop genetic diversity. 

About KALRO

KALRO is a public sector organization leading excellence in agricultural and livestock research and digitization of the sector towards transformed livelihoods. KALRO conducts agricultural research through the application of science, technology, and innovation to catalyze sustainable growth and development in agriculture and livestock Product Value Chains. The organization contributes to the growth of the agricultural sector through research coordination and regulation; technology and innovation development; and catalyze transfer and utilization of agricultural research outputs. Created under the ACT of parliament, the organization promotes, streamlines, coordinates and regulates research in crops, livestock, genetic resources, and biotechnology including animal diseases. In addition, expedites equitable access and application of research information and knowledge in the field of agriculture. KALRO has developed mobile applications and other disruptive agricultural technologies and innovations that provide usable information and agricultural intelligence that address socio-economic challenges such as climate change. 

About Mercy Corps AgriFin 

Mercy Corps Agrifin, leverages digital technology and innovation to develop inclusive digital products and services smallholder farmers need to increase their productivity, incomes and resilience. AgriFin envisions a future where every smallholder farmer prospers in a digitally interconnected world. Mercy Corps AgriFin has successfully implemented 40+ million USD of programming with over 150 partners and 5 million smallholder farmers by focusing on digital product roadmap development, digital financial service design, supporting the use of digital data, improving digital information systems for farmer capability, smart farming, rural advisory and markets – complemented by a rigorous learning and ecosystem building approach. One critical area of increased engagement that will be pursued across the portfolio in 2021-2025 is Digital Climate Smart Agriculture or D-CSA. 

Sprout, the Open Content Agriculture Platform, a project of Mercy Corps Agrifin, is an open platform where expert local, regional and global expert content creators share farmer friendly, digital ready farmer content learning journeys and services that farmer facing organizations (FFOs) can easily offer to their smallholder farmers. Sprout’s mission is to enable better education, resilience and adaptation to climate change and income earning opportunities for farmers across Africa.Since launch, over 7M messages have been sent reaching 1.5M farmers. In October 2022, Sprout partnered with TomorrowNow to launch a digital weather advisory MVP in for smallholder farmers in Kenya with the goal to scale affordable access to weather digitally across Africa.

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