In a release by TomorrowNow, the organisation announced that it has secured an additional USD 5 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to expand its anchor programme, Osiris. This funding aims to foster and unlock advanced weather and climate data services throughout Africa.
In 2021, TomorrowNow secured a USD 2 million grant from the Gates Foundation (together with their partners) to assist a million African farmers in adapting to climate change. Through this initiative, they showcased that enhanced access to localised weather information is just as crucial for applications within the food system as the quality and precision of the data itself.
In three years, with this additional funding, TomorrowNow aims to impact 20 million smallholder farmers by delivering value-added weather intelligence services across the African continent to research organisations, Non-Profit Organisations (NGOs), multilateral organisations, private service providers, farmer cooperatives, and government agencies serving Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs).
“We are delighted to see donors such as the Gates Foundation place huge value on weather and climate data services in Africa as a key solution to climate change and local prosperity,” commented Philip Frost, the Climate Resilience Lead at TomorrowNow.
The Osiris project leverages improved historical datasets, observations, and short-term and seasonal weather forecasts from global technology companies such as Tomorrow.io, Salient Predictions, and Arable. In addition, it collaborates closely with local government entities and private or non-governmental partners to transform agricultural practices significantly within the region.
Furthermore, the Osiris project initiative aims to make next-generation weather and climate information accessible to frontline organisations that support farmers and scientists who are pioneering innovations for the food system. This accessibility enhancement will enhance crop simulation for climate-resilient seed breeding and contribute to the adoption of regenerative farming practices.
“The Osiris project led by TomorrowNow has empowered CGIAR by providing direct access to a comprehensive and localised historical reanalysis dataset for East Africa. This has shown the potential to significantly enhance the outcomes of seed breeding analytics for our trial sites. The high-resolution data tailored for East Africa has proven invaluable, enabling us to refine our methodologies and substantially improve the precision and effectiveness of our work in the region.” Stated Kauê de Sousa, Alliance Bioversity-CIAT (CGIAR).”
African local farming communities can play a vital role in shaping next-generation food systems by facilitating weather intelligence access for frontline organisations engaging directly with farmers and pivotal research institutions like CGIAR, supported by philanthropy. These systems aim to be sustainable, enhance crop productivity, and guarantee a more dependable future for everyone.
Check here for more information regarding the grant.