Frost Monitoring and Forecasting Service
Farmers living in the Kenyan high lands, where environmental temperatures dip below the freezing point, have periodically suffered from frost occurrences and as a result, their economic activities are at constant risk of losses during the frost period (December to April). A changing climate in the region has increased the frequency of frost occurrences resulting in increased losses.
The service focuses on addressing challenges in identifying frost hotspots and forecasting frost occurrence early enough to allow implementation of mitigation measures to avoid losses incurred on tea farms. Preparedness for frost events is hampered by lack of credible information on frost occurrences.
The objective of this service is to bridge the gap by providing timely actionable information on impending frost occurrence to enhance preparedness of the stakeholders and to kick start prevention/ mitigation measures in areas prone to frost. Such measures include picking tea ahead of a frost event, pruning, or warm water irrigation.
The Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) is the custodian of all meteorological and hydrological related activities, thus KMD is a key stakeholder in this service. It is hoped that eventually, KMD will be the custodian of this service once it’s completed. The Kenya Tea and Development Authority (KTDA) is the umbrella organization for small scale farmers in the tea industry and are engaged with the purpose of retrieval and dissemination of information of frost information.
Other important stakeholders include James Finlays, Unilever Tea, ABC Insurance Consultants, Kenya Tea Development Authority (KTDA), Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD), Tea Research Foundation of Kenya, James Finlays, Unilever Tea, ABC Insurance Consultants, Kaisugu, Nandi Tea Limited, Sireet Limited, Small-scale and large scale farmers and county governments.