Capacity development and innovative communication

N. Palmer (CIAT)
Outcomes & Impacts

Weather and climate information, South-South cooperation help farmers in Colombia and Honduras manage climate change

Latin America
Climate-Smart Technologies and Practices

Small-scale farmers in the developing world are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate fluctuations and weather extremes. While these farming communities have survived by adapting to an increasingly uncertain climate, their traditional knowledge and coping practices have been overwhelmed by the recent scale of changes.

Supporting farmers with weather and climate information services for agricultural decision-making is an essential strategy for enhancing food security in already vulnerable areas, and a key component of climate-smart agriculture (CSA). Although existing initiatives have been successful in reaching out to smallholder farmers, the challenge of broadening the impact of climate services for vulnerable communities remains. CCAFS and its partners have used innovative approaches – including site-specific agro-climatic forecasts – to overcome this challenge

In Colombia, CCAFS has worked closely with CIAT and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to strengthen the adaptive capacity of the agriculture and livestock sectors to climate variability. CIAT-CCAFS’ agroclimatic prediction science has profoundly changed how agricultural sector organizations generate and share climate variability adaptation recommendations. Smallholder farmers are provided with agroclimatic information that helps them decide what varieties to plant, when to plant, what pests and diseases might appear and how to reduce their impact in the crop, and how to efficiently manage water and inputs resources.


Organizations from different agriculture sectors regularly meet in Local Technical Agroclimatic Committees (LTACs). Here representatives from government, civil society, local-authorities, meteorological-services and farmers discuss climate forecasts and decide which climate-smart practices to implement. This allows them to use CIAT-CCAFS climate information for their decision-making, and to produce national and regional agroclimatic bulletins.

South-South knowledge exchange programs between CCAFS partner countries have been a key component of this approach and the success in Colombia is now also being replicated in Honduras. Such collaboration introduces farmers to new skills, best practices, and knowledge on how to incorporate local, reliable and timely climate and site-specific information from trusted sources into their planning systems and strategies. In both countries up to 330.000 farmers are now being reached through 9 LTACs, and in Colombia alone, 154,059 farmers are receiving tailored agroclimatic advisory services, and an additional 6,000 have adopted climate-smart practices. In the medium-term, the project is expected to reach 1,588,640 farmers.


  • International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
  • International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) – Columbia University
  • Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE)
  • Honduras: Secretariat of Agriculture and Livestock of Honduras (SAG), Permanent Contingency Commission of Honduras (COPECO)
  • Colombia: Producers associations, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Colombia (MADR), Corporación Colombiana de Investigación Agropecuaria (CORPOICA), Fundación Universitaria de San Gil – UNISANGIL, Centro de Investigación de la Caña de Azúcar de Colombia (CENICAÑA), Centro Nacional de Investigaciones de Café (CENICAFE), Federación Nacional de Cultivadores de Cereales y Leguminosas (FENALCE), Federación Nacional de Arroceros (FEDEARROZ), Federación Nacional de Cafeteros (FNC), Asociación de Bananeros del Magdalena y La Guajira (ASBAMA), Instituto de Hidrología, Meteorología y Estudios Ambientales (IDEAM)

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