Climate information services (CIS) in agriculture aims to provide a full range of advice regarding climate and its impacts on crops, livestock, fisheries and management practices to prevent, reduce and/or manage risks. This tailored information assists farmers in making management decisions to reduce the risks and benefit from the opportunities of our variable and changing climate. Thus, CIS in agriculture needs to contain details and inputs from agricultural support services/institutions, suppliers, local cooperatives or community-based organizations in order to help farmers to make practical, feasible and relevant decisions.
Despite rapid technological progress in the generation of CIS, much of the weather and agro-meteorological information is not used by small farmers. Hence, there is need to develop a series of simple and robust scientific tools, methods, and services that can guide planning and policy to better understand climate impacts on food security and livelihoods.
The interface between scientists who generate products and end-users is essential for achieving optimum agricultural productivity on seasonal and long-term basis. In this regard, there is an urgent need to train both producers of climate information and end users in proper application of CIS in order to mitigate the negative effects of climate induced hazards and to benefit the economy. It is therefore imperative to provide the much needed tools for producers of CIS and the end user community from agricultural and related sectors.
Taking into account the above, a consultancy was commissioned by African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC)/ United Nations Economic Commission for Africa's (UNECA) in order to address the gaps. In particular, this consultancy aimed at enhancing climate forecasting capacities through a training programme in the three selected countries (Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe) to better inform adaptation and resilience in agriculture and other climate sensitive sectors. The specific aims were to:
- improve the forecast and information interpretation capacity of policymakers and user community for strategic provision of appropriate inputs to the Agriculture and Food Security Sector;
- Strengthen the platform for collaboration by key stakeholders involved in the production and application of timely climate information;
- Strengthen capacity for improved production, better access and sustainable operations for CIS; and
- Develop a methodology for predicting crop capability in the various agro-ecological zones/ homogeneous rainfall zones in order to enhance agricultural productivity and food security.
Validation workshop for the Study Findings
The Consultants have completed their assignment. In order to implement their findings a validation workshop is organized. It is proposed to take place in Lilongwe, Malawi, 24-26 November.
Purpose of validation workshop
In order provide the best possible options for generating and applying climate information services, there is need to widely consult the stakeholder ideas and opinions. This will enhance the Socioeconomic Benefits of Climate Information Services. In this regard, ACPC/UNECA is organizing a validation workshop. The purpose of the workshop is to enlist inputs from the key stakeholders in order to find ways of implementing the findings of the Consultants. It is proposed to take place in Lilongwe, Malawi, 24-26 November.