Upscaling climate information services and technologies through IT-led public-private-partnership

Photo: ESOKO

Project description 

CCAFS and ESOKO, Vodafone, the Ghana Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Ghana meteorological agency , Toto agric,, aWhere and farmers organizations collaborated on the establishment of a public-private business partnership (PPP) model project in Ghana in the generation, supply and use of climate information services (CIS) through an Information Technolgy (IT) platform.

This project aims to help farmers better manage climatic risks and to therefore be better  adapted and resilient to climate change and variability. The IT platform used allows users to receive downscaled seasonal forecast information on their mobile phones either as voice messages, SMS or through their call centers. The forecast information provided includes the total rainfall, the onset and end of the rainy season, plus a 10 day forecast across the rainy season. In addition to the weather forecast information, farmers receive agro-advisories that are intended to enable them understand and apply received information in the best possible way. In addition to sustaining the dissemination of CIS, the PPP is also expected to contribute to the expanding the businesses of private enterprises involved.

Expected outcomes

  • Climate Information Services reaches 1 million farmers by 2020 in northern Ghana for strategic farm management decision through PPP
  • Recommendations on key drivers and critical factors of risks and success given for improved enabling environment for CIS delivered through the PPP


Further Information

For further information please contact Robert Zougmoré ( and Gordon N. Kotey ( and Saaka Buah (



Project Activities

Since 2011, CCAFS has used its CSV models in West Africa to test and validate several agricultural interventions with the participation of various local partners. While potential agricultural innovations that simultaneously achieve the triple wins of CSA are evolving from the CSVs, there is limited evidence of their cost-effectiveness. Together with local partners, we will assess the costs and benefits of proven CSA technologies and accentuate implications on adoption, investment opportunities and development of business models in West Africa.

The CSV AR4D sites of West Africa have seen a number of promising CSA technologies realized from the participatory development and testing of the CSV model in Ghana, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Burkina Faso. For the scaling out/up perspective, these results/achievements still need robust evidence of their effectiveness as well as the enabling environment that can bring them to scale. Moreover, considering the role of livestock in food security and poverty reduction in West Africa, CCAFS is keen to meet a major need in the region by using the CSVs of Ghana and Mali to promote the adoption of climate-smart agro-silvopastoral systems for improved and sustained fodder availability and livestock nutrition. In addition to the documentation and nutritional profiling and testing of fodder species, the potential for firewood and charcoal production from multipurpose fodder species shall be explored alongside the development of a bio-digester using manure from livestock.

In the quest to improve the capacity of farmers to better manage climate related risks and build more resilient livelihoods, CCAFS-West Africa has since 2011 been piloting in its CSV AR4D sites of Ghana how downscaled seasonal forecast information through mobile phones (called the Esoko platform) could help farmers adapt to climate change and variability. With promising results emerging, CCAFS intends to help Esoko develop a viable business model as a means of strengthening local private institutions and making CIS accessible to millions of farmers across Ghana. The propose work will develop a public-private partnership business model by analyzing current PPP components and establishing evidence on the economic cost of CIS and delivered through the Esoko platform.

Previous results recommended Afzelia africana, Annona senegalensis, Ficus gnaphalocarpa, Pterocarpus erinaceus and Faidherbia albida as the most prioritized browse species in the CSV based mainly on their preference by, and therefore for, ruminants. These identified candidate browse species seem to be overly exploited in the whole of northern Ghana for fodder, as medicine and even for timber, resulting in declining yield of biomass. This therefore necessitates the development of a multispecies fodder bank that concentrated the species on the same plot of land alongside palatable woody legumes, herbaceous legumes, high-yielding forage grasses and some food-feed crops to increase the opportunity for ensuring sustainable all-year-round fodder production and availability. We will estimate the resource use efficiency, gender mainstreaming, seasonal fodder productivity, litter accumulation, quality of C inputs and soil C sequestration within the fodder bank. An economic evaluation of fodder bank will be determined and shared to inform local investment needs.

Project Deliverables