Working with agricultural sector professionals, educators and researchers in Haiti, AREA is developing science-based tools that will help reduce climate-related risks on the farm. Download the fact sheet: English | French.
The goal is to support Haitian institutions and its agricultural sector manage risks associated with climate variability by reducing losses during unfavorable years and maximizing harvests in favorable ones. AREA is researching how climate variability affects the livelihood of Haitian farmers and their ability to respond to these challenges. AREA also facilitates access to climate information, develops tools that farmers can use to improve seasonal planning and day-to-day decision-making, and builds capacity for outreach on climate risk management in agriculture.
AREA's Climate Smart Solutions team has developed and hosted workshops on a range of topics. These include teaching leaders of Haiti farmers' groups to help Haiti farmers adapt to climate change, using computer tools to analyze and present weather and climate data, and how to install and maintain weather stations. Learn more and download resources.
One of AREA's early projects has been to orchestrate the installation of low-cost wireless weather stations at agricultural research centers (CRDDs) to provide researchers, agronomists and others with reliable meteorological data.
Weather stations can play an important role in the productivity of the agricultural sector by providing data that is important to anyone planning, planting, harvesting and managing crops: temperature, rainfall, dew point and wind speed. Yet Haiti has few functioning meteorological stations.
In mid-2017, AREA installed four solar-powered meteorological stations in rural areas outside of Port-au-Prince. These stations now provide data vital for use by the farming sector: temperature, rainfall, dew point and wind speed. (To view the data, follow the links at the top right of this page.) The information is automatically updated every hour.
As with all AREA projects, an essential component has been training Haitians -- agricultural researchers, educators and other professionals -- in all aspects of the development of low-cost, reliable weather stations. This includes siting, designing, parts purchasing, assembling, programming, installing and troubleshooting.
William Eisenstadt, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Florida and an AREA research team member, is overseeing improvements to the stations. Eisenstadt leads a group of UF electrical engineering students who are enhancing the stations with more features, including improved wireless internet connectivity, data storage, Bluetooth and smartphone functionality. The improvements will allow the downloading of raw data for use in agricultural research, extension and education in Haiti.
A long-term goal is to jump start the development of a network hundreds of similar meteorological stations across Haiti in the years to come. Such a network would provide weather data for use by researchers, extension agents and farmers to better forecast weather patterns and manage the growing and harvesting of crops in an era of rapid climate change.