Weathering Away Climate Change Resistance: Two Young Entrepreneurs Use Weather Tracker for Agricultural Innovation

Climate change is a global crisis with localized impacts, and small-scale rural farmers are among those most affected. From erratic weather patterns and prevalent natural disasters, to extreme droughts and increased pest attacks, agriculture as we know it is changing.

There is an undeniable need for high-speed, hyperlocal data on immediate weather and environmental changes. While current weather reporting platforms provide wider geographical data, they are not accurate on a local level, especially in rural regions of Southern Africa, South Asia, and the Near East.

The UN Youth Climate Summit introduced hundreds of young innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders who are fighting the negative effects of climate change. Two leaders, Anurag Roy and Brighton Mabasa, were finalists in the Summer of Solutions: Youth Entrepreneurship Pitch Competition. These young role models are addressing issues of weather and agriculture with groundbreaking, data-driven technology.

Wikilimo, founded by Anurag Roy, provides crowdsourced hyperlocal updates on weather and pest patterns, along with suggestions for preventative methods to protect crops. While over 75% of the African population is engaged in agriculture, less than 13% has access to internet and only 1% has access to high speed internet. Wikilimo circumvents this issue by being available on all basic SMS phones, with or without internet.  The app is one of the most promising ideas to spread data globally.

Brighton Mabasa’s idea, MiWeather App, has a similar purpose: to adapt and spread weather information to the most vulnerable communities. The app allows farmers to share the most recent news on rainfall patterns, weather, and storms with each other. It harnesses the power of smartphones as live sensors, transforming the user’s phone into a tool for  improving community outreach and sustainable food production.

Anurag Roy, Brighton Mabasa, and other young pioneers embody the goal of the UN Youth Climate Initiative. Their innovations are helping to mobilize communities and form partnerships in the fight against climate change. By developing and sharing technological innovations, these young entrepreneurs are supporting the most affected populations, giving them the ability to take information and action into their own hands.


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