Scaling-up climate services with users in Latin America

Latin America farmers are highly vulnerable to climate variability, with crop losses observed throughout the region on a virtually annual basis. For instance, as indicated by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Program (WFP), the 2014–2017 drought conditions in Central America affected over 3.5 million people in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. 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 a local level. This precludes the translation of information into actionable knowledge, and therefore into action. In this study, we describe a process through which scientists and strategic partners have co-developed, tested and scaled out an approach to assess, co-produce, translate and transfer climate information to enable agricultural decision making –the Local Technical Agroclimatic Committees (LTAC). LTACs allow open and clear dialogues about climate variations at multiple timescales, how these can affect crops, and the design of 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 the approach throughout Latin America. Currently, 35 LTACs exist in 9 Latin American countries, engaging more than 250 public and private institutions, increasing the resilience and food security of an estimated 330,000 farmers, and potentially transforming how Latin American farmers manage climate risk. The study illustrates changes in institutional and farmers' capacities to co-produce, translate and use climate information and explores how better climate and crop prediction models can effectively underpin this process. We show how strategic alliances with farmer organizations, national public, and private and regional climate outlook forums help deliver improved and accurate climate information to users. Finally, we document how LTACs and their integration with other local-scale processes have led to changes in farmers’ management practices to take better advantage of good climatic conditions or avoid losses.

Published on



  • Navarro-Racines, Carlos Eduardo
  • Pons, Diego
  • Muller, Anna
  • Gonzalez-Romero, Carmen
  • Muñoz, Angel G
  • Giraldo Mendez, Diana Carolina
  • Martinez- Baron, Deissy
  • Prager, Steven D
  • Ramirez-Villegas, Julian




Navarro-Racines C, Pons D, Muller A, Gonzalez-Romero C, Muñoz AG, Giraldo DC, Martínez-Barón D, Prager SD, Ramírez-Villegas J. 2020. Scaling-up climate services with users in Latin America. CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).