The team at TomorrowNow exhibited at the Kenya Partners Convening by Gates Foundation and connected with many other fellow innovators.
Nairobi, Kenya – The team at TomorrowNow was honored to have had the opportunity to connect with fellow innovators and exhibit at the Kenya Partners Convening Expo organized by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) on April 26, 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya.
As noted by BMGF, Kenya is a critical focus country for the foundation’s investments across different sectors including agriculture that employs a significant proportion of the population.
The first-ever in-person convening was aimed at bringing together the foundation’s grantee community, staff and leadership to strengthen familiarity, coordination and collaboration among innovators that are working to empower communities to adapt and act in a changing climate
The Kenya Partners Convening followed BMGF Co-Chair Bill Gates’ November 2022 visit to Kenya, which was marked by key meetings and a field visit to a smallholder farmer in rural Kenya – among the key lessons that came out of Gates’ trip was on the opportunity of weather information to help farmers make critical on-farm decisions such as when to plant.
During his trip, Bill Gates learnt about the TomorrowNow, Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) and Tomorrow.io Partnership as one of the new applications of digital technologies to ensure smallholder farmers can anticipate and respond to climate threats.
In summary, the event incorporated an exhibition, break out discussions, as well as an open dialogue session with the foundation’s leadership to collate ideas and foster knowledge sharing across the different Gates-funded programs.
TomorrowNow was 1 out of 5 organizations that exhibited at the Kenya Partners Convening. We represented the agricultural innovation community while M-Kopa, Phillips, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics and Jhpiego were focused on financial inclusion, health tech and statistical information management.
The team was honored to share our progress, vision and learn together with the BMGF CEO Mark Suzman and its leadership. We showcased our partnership with KALRO in bringing the power of weather intelligence to smallholder farmers and highlighted our role in improving access to historical weather data for research organizations.
In addition, our Executive Director Georgina Campbell Flatter spoke as a panelist at the event’s Agriculture Deep Dive Meeting alongside other leaders from AGRA, ILRI, the African Group of Negotiators Experts Support (AGNES) & Pula about how climate adaptation innovations can achieve scale and impact.
A key takeaway was that hyperlocal data, including weather data, can be used to improve farmer productivity & profitability.
TomorrowNow is leveraging data, knowledge and networks developed during implementation of the BMGF OSIRIS and HORUS projects that we are currently leading.
TomorrowNow.org, in partnership with BMGF and Tomorrow.io, is in the process of developing and testing innovative weather technologies in support of smallholder farmers across East Africa.
The OSIRIS project aims to bring the power of advanced weather assets to agriculture in the data-sparse African continent by working closely with key stakeholders in the seed breeding ecosystem.
By collaborating with partners including CGIAR, Regrow, and Tomorrow.io, the project aims to demonstrate the value of weather and climate technologies for seed breeders, crop modelers, and on-farm managers to close the weather data gap and turn forecasts into action.
The HORUS project is leveraging the TomorrowNow-KALRO partnership to develop new applications of digital technologies to ensure that smallholder farmers anticipate and respond to climate threats by providing climate-smart agricultural advisory to farmers in East Africa via text messages.