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After five years of poor rains, Mcharo Mwanyumba, a farmer in southeast Kenya, was looking forward to a bumper harvest of maize and millet from his 2.4-hectare plot this August.Better weather forecasts – including seasonal predictions of expected weather patterns and quick warnings of extreme weather in easy-to-understand language that farmers can use – could help cut losses, experts trying to improve Africa's meteorological services say.Speaking in Addis Ababa in September at the African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology (AMCOMET), a gathering of government leaders, donors and United Nations agencies, Diop said years of neglect and lack of investment had rendered as many as half of the continent's weather stations out of date and unable to capture accurate, dependable weather data.Up to $1.5 billion is needed to upgrade weather services infrastructure so it can produce the data needed for forecasts to help ease weather and climate disasters, he said.
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