Success Stories

Zavhan Aimag. SMS System Helps Herders Better Manage Their Livestock

In Mongolia most people receive weather information from TV and radio. The weather forecast usually contains very general information on precipitation, temperature and wind for the whole aimag. For instance the weather information covers south-eastern part or north-western part of a particular aimag. And there is no information available for soums and baghs.

Based on that general information, herders plan their daily work such as managing their herd, cutting hay, building camps, moving to new pastures or shearing wool. Inaccurate weather forecast can affect herders. In July of 2015 about 18,000 heads of sheep died of cold as a result of five day cold rains in Zavhan. Local herders chose a wrong day to shear wool, and sheep without wool becomes very vulnerable to cold temperatures.

Mercy Corps' the Leveraging Tradition and Science 2 (LTS2) project funded by USAID created SMS system that helps local herders get instantly bagh specific weather information on their mobile phones via SMS messages. Herder S. Bayanmunkh from Zavhan is one of those beneficiaries. "This new SMS system is very important for herders" says Bayanmunkh "We are able to get weather information for our bagh and make proper work plans". He received 21 text messages with weather information during two months. SMS messages helped him to choose sunny days to cut off sheep wool. His sheep were able to better adapt to natural conditions and Batmunkh didn’t lose a single animal.

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