(note: from Spore.cta.int.April 2006)
The government of Burkina Faso has estimated that cash earnings from agriculture have increased by 10 to 15% since it began its cloud seeding programme in 1998.
The additional rainfall created has helped to fill reservoirs, allowing irrigated cultivation to continue during the dry season. As a result, imports, particularly of cereals, have dropped and in some parts of the country fresh tomatoes are now available all year round.
With technical assistance from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Burkina Faso has set up software systems to support cloud seeding efforts.
The software is used to display and analyse radar data about cloud systems and precipitation, thereby guiding cloud seeding operations and helping scientists evaluate the results.
Burkina Faso’s cloud seeding programme has proved so successful, that the Inter State Committee Against Drought in the Sahel (CILSS) is hoping to find backing for a US$60 million (€50 million) programme to extend cloud seeding to its other eight member countries.