Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
AfricaRice launches online weather database for researchers

11 July 2017


AfricaRice launches online weather database for researchers

Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) is pleased to announce the launch of its online weather database to facilitate sharing of all its weather data with researchers within the Center and amongst its partners, particularly the national agricultural research systems.

“The website will provide access to daily weather records owned or distributed by AfricaRice,” said Dr Pepijn van Oort, Crop Modeler at AfricaRice, who has been closely involved in building the database.

The database includes historical weather data owned by the Center and daily weather data from weather stations set up in major rice hubs across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). It has also daily weather data from public data sources developed and quality-controlled by the AgMERRA project.

Long-term daily weather database is a prerequisite for studying the agricultural impacts of climate variability and climate change. Such estimates are critical for assessing yield gaps and food security scenarios, developing appropriate agricultural technologies and targeting agricultural investments.

However, it is generally difficult for agricultural scientists to obtain reliable long-term daily weather records from many regions (e.g., SSA). Sometimes the records are not available or if available, they have wrong and incomplete information. Often users have to pay high prices or follow long  bureaucratic procedures to get access to such data.

“Such procedures can cause much frustration amongst scientists,” said Dr van Oort. “The AfricaRice online weather database can be freely accessed, with no restrictions. We are keen to maximize access to reliable weather records and avoid loss of data.”

Dr van Oort explained that the development of the AfricaRice weather database and website started in 2012, when the Center distributed weather stations to its national partners in the 46 rice hubs set up in SSA. Then, data from AfricaRice research sites in Cotonou (Benin), M’bé (Côte d’Ivoire) and Ndiaye and Fanaye (Senegal) were added.

“In my work, I often use climate forcing datasets for crop modeling, however such datasets are in a format meant for meteorologists, which is not useful for agronomists and plant breeders,” remarked Dr van Oort. “So, we process them into the same format as the rest of the AfricaRice weather data.”

The AfricaRice online weather database is managed by Ms Perpetue Kouamé, Research Assistant under Dr van Oort. “It has been exciting to develop and maintain this website. I am responsible for its performance, integrity and quality control,” Ms Kouamé said.

Gratefully acknowledging the contributions of partners, Dr van Oort said, “This database could not have been built without the collaborative effort of various partners in collecting weather data.”

He highlighted that the AfricaRice online weather database will continue to grow. “We hope that the database will draw many interested visitors and that the agricultural research community in SSA can fully benefit from it.




Media contact:
Savitri Mohapatra
+225 22 48 09 10

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About AfricaRice

AfricaRice is a CGIAR Research Center – part of a global research partnership for a food-secure future. It is also an intergovernmental association of African member countries.

The Center was created in 1971 by 11 African countries. Today its membership comprises 26 countries, covering West, Central, East and North African regions, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo and Uganda.

AfricaRice headquarters is based in Côte d’Ivoire. Staff are located in Côte d’Ivoire and also in AfricaRice Research Stations in Benin, Liberia, Madagascar, Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania. For more information visit: www.AfricaRice.org


CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food-secure future. CGIAR science is dedicated to reducing poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security, and improving natural resources and ecosystem services. Its research is carried out by 15 CGIAR Centers in close collaboration with hundreds of partners, including national and regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia, development organizations and the private sector. www.cgiar.org


Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice)



AfricaRice is a CGIAR Research Center –
part of a global research partnership
for a food-secure future.
It is also an intergovernmental association of
African member countries.


AfricaRice Headquarters
M’bé Research Station
01 B.P. 2551, Bouaké 01, Côte d'Ivoire
T: +225 31 63 25 78; F: +225 31 63 28 00

AfricaRice Director General’s Office
01 BP 4029, Abidjan 01, Côte d'Ivoire
T: +225 22 48 09 10; F: +225 22 44 26 29

E: AfricaRice@cgiar.org


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