Launch of the second version of the manual for Local Technical Agroclimatic Committees (MTA)
The scaling and sustainability of the Local Technical Agroclimatic Committees (MTA) in Latin America has meant the democratization of agroclimatic information as a model vehicle to support timely, accessible, and useful climate services for decision-making in the agricultural sector. Thanks to inter-institutional alliances in each country, the MTA creates an enabling environment that supports climate services to be based on the local context as a mechanism to reduce the risks associated with expected climate variability by implementing integrated and inclusive measures.
With more than 50 MTAs established in 11 countries (Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay and Chile), about 500 thousand farmers receive agroclimatic information, which has been possible thanks to the commitment of more than 350 institutions throughout the region. In this scenario, together with the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (IDEAM - Colombia), through this BlogPost, we launched the second version of the Manual of Agroclimatic Technical Tables (MTA): Implementation Guide to support the process of co-production, translation, communication and use of agroclimatic information for countries interested in implementing this successful approach.
Find the second version of the MTA manual here: https://hdl.handle.net/10568/114605
What's new in this second edition: all the steps of establishment and development of the MTAs have been reviewed and updated, considerations related to monitoring and evaluation (M&E) are included to assess the scope of the implementation of the MTAs in the territories and a new module related to mitigation practices to assess the greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction potential of different agricultural practices and systems.
Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of the transformations generated by the MTA
In this second version of the manual for Local Technical Agroclimatic Committees (MTA): Implementation Guide, an eighth step called “Monitoring and Evaluation - M&E” is integrated with some instruments used to monitor and identify the transformations that MTAs have generated in the different countries. In addition, the M&E results allow showing the MTA's achievements to donors and stakeholders, ensuring more funding and collaboration.
For example, the monitoring instrument was designed with the purpose of improving both the participation scenario and its scope, and was developed in such a way that it was replicable in all the MTA in Latin America, focusing on 5 fundamental aspects: 1) characterization of the participants; 2) characterization of the local environment; 3) perception of the quality of the information; 4) scope of agroclimatic information; and 5) suggestions. This instrument is being applied in the MTA of Guatemala (working document related here) and recently in Colombia.
* The Monitoring instrument was developed within the framework of the Agroclimas Phase II project, part of the portfolio of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and “Adapting agriculture to the climate today, for tomorrow” ( AcToday), led by Columbia University.
New mitigation module
A new component included in the second version of the manual is the identification of mitigation practices to assess the potential for GHG reduction / elimination. These practices are in accordance with the agroclimatic information generated in the MTA and the productive systems prioritized in each context. Using tools such as the Cool Farm Tool, farmers and agricultural technicians can identify “activities within farms that may have an opportunity for mitigation or potential for carbon sequestration” in order to know which production systems or agricultural practices generate the greatest quantity of GHG emissions, and in that sense determine the mitigation potential and identify systems with the potential to store carbon.
New and ongoing initiatives related to climate services
This new version of the manual for Local Technical Agroclimatic Committees (MTA) joins a series of efforts being made by CCAFS and the International Bioversity Alliance and CIAT, to bring climate services to the agricultural sector of Latin America, through :
• The project "Generation of knowledge through participatory processes to address a Just Transition path in Boyacá - Colombia", funded by Porticus, which is helping farmers in the municipalities of Boyacá and members of the MTA in the department's, understand the mitigation potential of their food production and the market opportunities to increase their income by selling low-carbon emissions products. Within the framework of this project, the second version of the MTA manual described here has been generated.
• The project “Agroecology for Climate Action: Strengthening the Evidence for Low-Carbon, Climate-Resilient Small-Scale Agriculture in Latin America” focused on Colombia, Ecuador and Peru
• The project “Implementation of participatory climate services in communities of Zacapa, El Progreso and Chiquimula” of the Pro-Resilience initiative of the World Food Program (financed by the European Union) focused on eastern Guatemala, for the implementation of Integrated Services Participative Climate for Agriculture (PICSA), an approach that allows to efficiently connect and land the agroclimatic information of the MTAs, supporting the planning and decision-making of the producer.
• The model of the Academy of Climate Services proposed by IRI, which is being implemented in Guatemala and Colombia, is part of the second version of the MTA Manual. It is supported by 3 pillars: (1) Development of a transversal space to identify initiatives, challenges and opportunities related to climate services in each country, (2) Development of certifications or short courses for students and professionals, to train and support them in the needs that they have in their environments on climate services and the (3) Development of a university curriculum to train the new generation of experts in climate services in the countries.
For now, the Local Technical Agroclimatic Committees (MTA) will continue to contribute to building climate resilience and reducing climate risk, with the active participation of farmers, scientists, field technicians, representatives of the public and private sectors, to achieve agricultural development in Latin America.
Find the second version of the MTA manual here.