Agro-climatic Digitally Integrated Solutions

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The system will seek to improve agro-advisory systems and food security management in Central America. Photo credit: José Luis Urrea (CCAFS - CIAT)
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Project description

The climate-smart agriculture (CSA) strategy for the Central American Integration System (SICA) contains three major areas of work around climate risk management:

  • generation and exchange of agro-climatic information at a regional scale;
  • timely generation and communication of climate risk management information; and
  • promotion of methods and tools to assess risks and losses in the agricultural sector, also at a regional scale.

A few initiatives have taken place to implement the SICA's CSA strategy in order to have a more active role in the climate risk management component. These initiatives include the strengthening of capacities in National Meteorological Services; initial steps toward the establishment of an Central America Climate Outlook Forum (CACOF); the establishment of 10 Local Technical Agro-climatic Committees (LTACs); and the adoption of a food security decision support system by the Guatemalan Secretariat of Food and Nutritional Security (SESAN).

This project seeks to advance towards the development of a user-centered, digitally integrated and scalable system to support information generation, use and exchange among decision-makers within the SICA system. System design will follow from the synthesis of case studies and co-development with stakeholders from the regional level (Climate Outlook Forum - COF) through to the meso (LTACs) and local levels (extension services, farmers).

The system will seek to improve agro-advisory systems and food security management in Central America, strengthening institutional capacities at various levels, and ultimately increasing the resilience and food security of 300,000 farmers in the region.

Activities

  • Conduct research on how to combine food security monitoring data with climate information (historical, and forecasts) at regional (COF) and national (Instituto Nacional de Sismología, Vulcanología, Meteorología e Hidrología—INSIVUMEH) scale, using a modeling approach in order to identify trigger points for early warning.
  • Evaluate existing approaches (seasonal, sub-seasonal), information products and information needs of women, youth and other actors, centered on mid-summer drought forecasts, and enhance their use in agricultural decision making at the local level through the 10 existing LTACs. Support the inclusion of women’s organizations in LTACs.
  • Collaborate with Flagship on Climate-Smart Technologies and Practices project on digital CSA transformation to integrate seasonal and sub-seasonal forecasts into the scaling out of digital agricultural advisory services.
  • Synthesize case studies with a focus on developing a system integrating different scales (regional through to local) to facilitate the generation, translation, transfer and use of agro-climatic information for decision making.

Outputs

Journal articles

  • Journal article on “Systematic approach to regional integration of climate services across sectors and scales in Central America”.

Journal article on each of the case studies:

  • A case study on improving the predictability of the mid-summer drought in relation to the needs of specific sectors (agriculture, food security, and humanitarian assistance) and groups (women, youth).
  • The relationship between food security and seasonal and sub-seasonal forecasts to improve early warning triggers for early, forecast-based action.
  • Connecting seasonal forecasts to agricultural advisory services (in collaboration with Flagship on Climate-Smart Technologies and Practices and Digital Climate-Smart Agriculture Transformation project).

Tools

  • Tool to identify and prioritize entry points for targeted interventions and improvements in information provision.
  • Climate data integration toolkit/information system for SICA (CACOF, and Centro Clima) that supports the integration, exchange, generation and use of agro-climatic and food security information between different scales and sectors.
  • Tool for enhanced prediction of mid-summer drought in Central America in connection to agricultural decision making.
  • Food security and agricultural advisory toolkit supporting the translation of agro-climatic and food security forecasts into forecast-based actions (e.g. in terms of dietary recommendations), and into agronomic advice (e.g. crop/farm management).

Expected outcomes

  • 300,000 farmers in Central America increase their resilience and food security by using digitally integrated agro-climatic and food security information for crop management and early warning. At the same time, digitally integrated climate information increases the benefits of existing agro-climatic advisory services for 50,000 women in Central America.
  • 10 public and private organizations contribute to digitally integrating agro-climatic advisory services for farmers to reduce climate risk and increase food security based on CCAFS science and tools.
  • 4 women-focused farmer organizations provide digitally integrated and gender-sensitive climate services to their farmers. These women-focused farmer organizations would be recruited by 4 agro-climatic committees to be part of the co-production, translation, transfer, and use of climate services for agriculture and food security.
  • At least 3 policy decisions by organizations of the SICA and/or the national ministries of agriculture in Central America are partly influenced by our work on digitally integrated solutions for climate risk and food security management.