The goal of this project is to provide direct-access of affordable weather forecast to Filipino farmers as a tool in risk reduction of crop damages, which has been caused by the significant changes in weather patterns due to climate change.
Oolán Mini is a low-cost device that automatically downloads and displays 10-day weather information from a weather service provider through a network internet or SMS, with just a push of a button. It queries farmer’s actual location which serves as the reference for the weather data to be requested.
Farmers get simplified information of future sky conditions (sunny, cloudy, and stormy), chances or intensity of rain and even a possibility of an incoming typhoon. The information through graphics was made simpler and was based on the basic available knowledge of farmers. The device automatically goes into standby mode and displays a simple clock when not used within 15 seconds.
The device also intends to gradually introduce technology to the locals for those who were not immersed or accustomed to it. Parts and manufacturing processes were carefully considered to enable affordability while keeping it functional and robust. Product cost reduced to almost 80% than a conventional mobile phone.
Oolán Mini’s basic weather forecast was specially designed for farmers based on their needs and capabilities:
- Context, ease of use
- Medium range forecasts
Effects of Climate Change to Filipino Farmers
According to the Department of Agriculture in the Philippines, Php30 billion worth of agricultural products were lost in the aftermath of Typhoon Bopha (Pablo) in 2012 alone. Php197 million reported estimated worth of rice crops that were damaged due to the typhoon.
Unpredictable weather patterns, frequent typhoons, long droughts and other effects of climate change causes crop damages to the unprepared, vulnerable and anxious Filipino farmers.
Benefits of Oolán Mini
Direct access to useful weather information is an essential tool for disaster risk reduction, which would greatly benefit farmers in minimizing risks of damaged crops. Farmers can now prepare for future droughts, heavy rains and foresee possibilities of imminent typhoons.
This device could also greatly help fishermen, herders and other weather-dependent, low-income roles across different cultures.
Risk reduction and preparedness are the keys to help them adapt climate change.
About the Weather Data. The weather service provider accesses weather info using government weather stations, airports and personal weather stations throughout the Philippines and worldwide. Updated every 1, 3 to 6 hours interval, it uses innovative forecast models and cross-verifies output with all of the localized data points from the local neighborhood weather data. This provides farmers a more accurate and personalized weather forecast based on their location.