New initiative aims to improve the availability, access and use of climate information in Mali.

Under the 'Capacitating African Smallholders with Climate Advisories and Insurance Development' (CASCAID) project, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), the National Meteorological Agency of Mali (Mali-Meteo) and partners gathered to launch activities for the 'Joint Agro-Meteorological Services Incubator' (JAMSI). Jamsi is an incubator designed to survive after the project Cascaid.

The objectives of JAMSI are to:

  • Improve Mali Meteo’s historical climate (rainfall and temperature) data through development of gridded data sets created by combining quality-controlled station data with satellite retrievals and other proxies;
  • Improve seasonal prediction as well as physical understanding of current trends related to the sub-seasonal distribution of rainfall;
  • Build the capacity of Mali Meteo to provide high quality climate services and explore options for leveraging its capabilities to provide climate information to the public and private sectors in Mali.
  • The availability of climate data will be improved by combining quality controlled data from the national observation network, which is very sparse over many parts of the country, with satellite estimates for rainfall and elevation maps, and reanalysis products for temperature.

This agreement is a step forward to achieving some of the objectives of CASCAID. As elaborated by the leader of the project, Mr. Pierre Sibiry Traoré, one main objective is to build the capacity of the National Meteorological Agencies and other intermediaries in interpreting, communicating and activating the use of seasonal climate information for seasonal agricultural decision making. This is being attained through a set of trainings offered by the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) under the ENACTS program and supported by ICRISAT to improve the availability, access and use of climate gridded data (data created by combining station observed data with satellite and reanalysis products) at every 4.2 km in Mali.

Partners who gathered to launch activities for the 'Joint Agro-Meteorological Services Incubator' (JAMSI). Photo: CCAFS WA.

Mali-Météo provides these data to contribute to the development of yield prediction products, in the Southern part of Mali, using the CCAFS Regional Agricultural Forecasting Toolbox (CRAFT) to bridge spatial and temporal gaps to inform policy-makers about food security trends which is not related to demographic exponential growth.

In this agreement, Mali Meteo will also be expected to contribute to the implementation of the Participatory Integrated Climate Services for Agriculture (PICSA) approach in Mali. The contribution of Mali-Météo consists of providing historical climate tools and resource persons for the trainings of intermediaries to provide useful and usable climate information to help smallholder farmers manage climate related risks, make informed decision for the success of their agricultural activities and improve their productivity.

In a statement, Dr. Ramadjita Tabo, Director of ICRISAT West and Central Africa, said that “we have long been the privileged witnesses of the ingenuity and skills of farmers, and when supported by scientific innovations, favorable policies and sustainable partnerships, they can extraordinarily increase their productivity and incomes, while improving the resilience of their lands and livelihood.”

According to Dr. Mathieu Ouédraogo, Participatory Action Research Scientist at CCAFS, JAMSI is a great opportunity to capacitate the emerging national climate services, which closely reflects the philosophy of CASCAID and that of the overall theme of CCAFS on climate management. He was therefore certain that JAMSI aligns very well with the principal innovation brought by CCAFS into agricultural research, an innovation based on incidences and impacts; impacts built upon capacitating intermediaries who can directly or indirectly reach end beneficiaries and positively impact their lives.

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Andree Mentho Nenkam is Scientific Officer and Pierre Sibiry Traoré is Senior Scientist at ICRISAT Bamako.