Enhancing Food Security in Africa with a Predictive Early Warning System on Extreme Weather Phenomena

Abstract

Climate change is predicted to exacerbate Africa’s, already, precarious food security. Climate models, by accurately forecasting future weather events, can be a critical tool in developing countermeasures to reduce crop loss, decrease adverse effects on animal husbandry and fishing, and even help insurance companies determine risk for agricultural insurance policies – a measure of risk reduction in the agricultural sector that is gaining prominence. In this paper, we investigate the efficacy of various open-source climate change models and weather datasets in predicting drought and flood weather patterns in northern and western Kenya and discuss practical applications of these tools in the country’s agricultural insurance sector. We identified two models that may be used to predict flood and drought events in these regions. The combination of Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) and weather station data was the most effective in predicting future drought occurrences in Turkana and Wajir with accuracies ranging from 78% to 90%. In the case of flood forecasting, Isolation Forests models using weather station data had the best overall performance. The above models and datasets may form the basis of a more objective and accurate underwriting process for agricultural index-based insurance, as we expound in the paper.

Description

Keywords

Climate Change, Food Security, Extreme Weather, Prediction Agricultural Insurance, Insurance Based Index

Citation

Igobwa, A. M., Gachanja, J., Muriithi, B., Olukuru, J., Wairegi, A. R., & Rutenberg, I. (2022). Enhancing Food Security in Africa with a Predictive Early Warning System on Extreme Weather Phenomena.

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