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Strengthening the climate services chain in Central America

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Central American farmers are highly vulnerable to climate variability, with crop losses observed throughout the region on a virtually annual basis. At the same time, local stakeholders and farmers generally have limited access to existing climate and forecast information, do not have sufficient capacities to understand the climate information and/or mechanisms to relate this information to the impact that climate variations can generate at the local level. This precludes the translation of information into actionable knowledge, and therefore into action.

Here we describe a process through which scientists and strategic partners have co-developed, tested, and scaled out approaches to assess, co-produce, translate and transfer climate information to enable agricultural decision making (e.g. Next Generation of climate forecasts -NextGen, the Local Technical Agroclimatic Committees - LTAC, the Participatory Integrated Climate Services for Agriculture -PICSA). Through these approaches’ farmers and stakeholders access information about climate variations at multiple timescales, understand how these can affect crops, and design measures to reduce crop loss, particularly providing agronomic recommendations to farmers. We systematically describe the process of evidence generation, creation, partner engagement, scaling up, and monitoring of these approaches throughout Central America at a national level and at the local level especially in application sites known as the Climate-Smart Villages.

Citation

Martinez-Barón D, Navarro-Racines C, Martinez-Salgado J, González-Romero C, Muñoz A, Castellanos A, Giraldo Mendez D, Prager S, Ramírez-Villegas J. 2021. Strengthening the climate services chain in Central America. CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).