Other articles

May 2022
DROP App, a climate information services with soil moisture module, is ready to be tested
February 2022
Lunchtime Talks on EXtreme Climate: Water & Climate Information Services for Society
January 2022
WATERAPPscale weather schools: weather and climate information services help smallholder farmers during cyclone Jawad in Bangladesh
December 2021
Developing Climate Information Services (CIS) with a soil moisture forecast module
November 2021
Ten new farmer field schools have been established
October 2021
WATERAPPS is implemented in Sylhet and Mymensingh Baba Mohammadu Jamaldeen is going to collect soil moisture information in Tamale Highlighted publication in Nature Climate Change
September 2021
Reinforcing Community Trust and Relationship through Climate Information Services in Bangladesh Delta
July 2021
Building Resilient River Deltas Through Innovations - UDW Regional Events
May 2021
WATERAPPS & WATERAPPscale participation in the UDW regional events call
March 2021
WATERAPPscale - upscaling WATERAPPS information services in Bangladesh
October 2020
Dogbey Richard Kwame in the field to test the Farmer Support App
August 2020
FarmerSupport app traingings have started
June 2020
FarmerSupport mobile App now online
May 2020
Super Cyclone Amphan - People ask for a strong and sustainable embankment
February 2020
Weather Club - A New Horizon for Smallholder Farmers in the Ganges Delta How a Bengali Female farmer experiences Climate Information services
December 2019
WaterApps team workshop and field visit in Khulna How a Bangladeshi farmer experiences the WaterApps Climate Service
September 2019
On a climate service training mission with Uthpal Kumar Apply for the WaterApps Ghana Business until September 15th
July 2019
What makes the best climate/weather app for famers? A Ghana business challenge PICSA monitoring and evaluation workshop
March 2019
Making weather forecasts part of the Bangladeshi farming practice
January 2019
An introduction to scientific seasonal forecasts
November 2018
Identification of success factors in a review of agricultural information services in peri-urban Khulna, Bangladesh
August 2018
Exploring how the flow of water-related information affects farming practices and decision-making in Ada East
May 2018
An innovation systems approach to examine the organization of ICT-based IPs for extension services in Ghana Tailoring weather and water information for sustainable crop production
December 2017
Workshop on Information Services for Farmers in Peri-Urban Khulna
January 1
New publication on the role of soil moisture information WATERAPPS & WATERAPPscale shared their findings in the UDW final conference: Breaking barriers-urbanising deltas of the world Seminar - Building bridges for delta interventions: Crossing scales, domains and engaging local stakeholders using the MOTA and WATERAPPstools Climate Coffee Chat: Agriculture, Africa and Women Policy Brief: WATERAPPS & EVOCA Climate Information Services for Food Security in Ghana

DROP App, a climate information services with soil moisture module, is ready to be tested

Written by: Doctor (Dr) Samuel Sutanto
Published: Friday, May 13, 2022
Thumbnail DROP App, a climate information services with soil moisture module, is ready to be tested

This week, mid of May 2022, we are happily announcing the good news from the WATERAPPscale and WAGRINNOVA teams that the DROP App, a Climate Information Services (CIS) embedded with soil moisture (SM) module, is ready to be tested in Tamale, Ghana. Why are we developing a CIS with an extra function to forecast SM? First, SM plays an important role in the soil-plant-atmosphere system because the plant establishment and growth are directly impacted by the soil moisture content. Second, SM forecast is still not well implemented in the currently available CISs, especially in the form of mobile apps. Therefore, a CIS app equipped with an SM module (CIS-SM) is a step forward in developing a robust CIS. In this sense, the DROP app is pioneering in providing SM forecasts up to 7 days ahead for smallholder farmers. The DROP app uses a simple bucket/water balance model to estimate the soil moisture condition (see our previous blog).

Why soil moisture information is very important for smallholder farmers in Ghana and also elsewhere in the global south? We conducted an exploratory study about the role of SM for smallholder farmers in Ghana (Sutanto et al., 2022). Our study concluded that farmers consider soil moisture conditions in the agricultural decision-making activities at every stage, e.g. for fertilizer application, sowing, land preparation, and weed control (see Fig. 1a). This information is, however, not always available or accessible for them. Many farmers in Ghana also stated that SM forecast is categorized as the critical information after precipitation (Fig. 1b) and this information will help farmers in conducting strategic and tactical decision-making in their daily farming activities. These are the main and foremost reasons we would like to develop the CIS-SM, namely DROP.

Figure 1. a) Farmers’ perception on the importance of soil moisture in farming decision-making stages and b) forecast variable needs of smallholder farmers.


The DROP app has different purposes for asking farmers to input their data between precipitation and soil moisture. For precipitation, farmers can share their local forecasts. For soil moisture, on the other hand, the farmers will share their soil moisture measurements/observations that will be used as SM initial conditions in the water balance calculation. Figure 2a shows the home/main page of the DROP app. Here, all features related to SM will be performed by clicking the SM button. Then, farmers need to fill in the type of crop and the planting date. Next, farmers are asked to fill in their SM measurements/observations by scrolling the color bar from 0% (wilting point) to 100% (field capacity) (Fig. 2b). Irrigation data is required to be filled in if farmers have a plan to irrigate their crops for the next 7 days. Last, the results of SM forecasts for 7 days ahead are presented as pie charts, showing the percentage of SM from wilting point to field capacity (Fig. 2c).

Figure 2. The DROP app interfaces (Beta version).


We would like to stress out that the DROP app is being developed using crops that are commonly planted by farmers in Ghana. This means that not all crops are available in the DROP app database at the moment. This app is also under testing in Ghana and will be adjusted later after some feedback is obtained. This must be done in order to develop an app that is tailored to farmers’ needs. The DROP app will be very useful to be used in the regions that are not influenced by saltwater intrusion (delta), high groundwater table, and swamped areas. Thus, is the SM module useful to be used in Bangladesh? We confirm that the DROP app with SM module is very useful for farmers located in the north of Bangladesh, where there is no influence from the seawater intrusion but only for crops that are available in the app database. In the future, we plan to expand the crop database and to include the salinity information in the DROP app. Kudos for the WATERAPPscale and WAGRINNOVA teams.