by Vanessa Meadu, Francesco Fiondella and Brian Kahn
The massive and wide-scale drought that has left American farmers shaking their fists at barren clouds is the fifth-worst on record for the U.S. Eight out of every ten acres of agricultural land has been affected. As a result, farmers will pull in the lowest corn yield in more than a decade, and the soybean harvest will also be significantly lower than average. American consumers will likely feel the impact of this at the checkout counter in the months to come.
These harsh realities come in a country that has some of the most sophisticated data and technology for climate and weather monitoring in the world. Read more »
In a harsh and unpredictable environment, reliable weather information is crucial for farmers to successfully grow their crops. By studying a successful weather information program in Mali, climate adaptation researchers and agencies are hoping to learn how to best deploy similar programs in the region, to help reduce the risks faced by smallholder farmers. Highlighted by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) in November, the Mali Meteorological Program has since 1982 shared weather information with over 2500 farmers. As a result, farmers are reporting increased yields and willingness to invest in new technologies.
CCAFS, together with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), the Institute for Rural Economy of Mali (IER) and sub-regional partners (AGRHYMET) recently engaged in a three-day training workshop on the assessment methodology of the Mali Meteorological Program. The Mali meeting kicked off the next few months of survey work; a team will be speaking to the people involved in the project to discover the keys to its success and how similar initiatives could potentially be implemented elsewhere. Read more »
Last year in villages across Mali, some farmers harvested bumper crops of millet, sorghum and maize, while their neighbours struggled to produce a high-enough yield to feed their families. Yet they all faced the same dry spells, high temperatures and unpredictable rains.
So what caused such dramatic difference between these two groups? The first group of farmers was not simply lucky. Rather they were reaping the benefits of having had access to weather information and weather-based farm management advisories, thanks to an innovative programme set up by the Mali government in an effort to stave off hunger. Read more »
Guest blog by Lini Wollenberg, Theme Leader for theme 'Pro-poor Climate Change Mitigation' and Chase Sova, visiting researcher on 'Adaptive Capacity under Progressive Climate Change', CCAFS.
Representatives from government agencies, research institutes, development organizations and civil society came together in June and July to discuss the current status of climate change policy in agriculture and identify research priorities in each of four countries: Ghana, Mali, Kenya and Ethiopia. CCAFS organized the national workshops respectively with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Ghana, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Mali, the Tegemeo Institute in Kenya and the Climate Change Forum in Ethiopia. Read more »
CCAFS Coordinating Unit - University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Science, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Rolighedsvej 21, DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark, phone +45 35331046; Email ccafs [at] cgiar [dot] org, EAN 5790000279012
Lead Center - International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)