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Regional priorities for strengthening climate services for farmers in Africa and South Asia

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This report captures a process of shared South-South learning and planning towards defining
priorities for strengthening and scaling-up climate information and advisory services for
agriculture and food security in West Africa, Eastern and Southern Africa, and South Asia.
The process began at the international workshop on “Scaling up Climate Services for Farmers
in Africa and South Asia” (Saly, Senegal, December 2012), where participants collectively
identified critical gaps in the design, delivery and effective use of climate services for
smallholder agriculture; and self-organized into working groups to develop a set of priority
actions for strengthening climate services for smallholder farming communities within and
across regions in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Following up on a commitment made
at the workshop, USAID and CCAFS partnered to develop a small grants program and
sponsor a set of guided planning workshops to enable the working groups that emerged from
the Saly workshop to further develop their visions, and obtain resources to begin to
implement them. Expert working groups from all regions prioritized improving the scientific
capacity of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) to develop location
specific seasonal climate forecasts at the subnational scale, and enhancing institutional
frameworks for collaboration between the different agencies involved in the production and
communication of climate services. The Eastern and Southern Africa working group also
emphasized the co-production with farmers of location-specific climate services, and the
importance of assessing the added value of climate services for enhancing agricultural
production and managing risk. The West Africa working group prioritized communications
mechanisms for reaching marginalized groups, including rural radio and Information and
Communications Technologies (ICTs), and training farmers to access and use climate
information. Building on the region’s existing strength in ICTs, the South Asia group
emphasized efforts to identify appropriate ICT tools and build the capacity of smallholder
farmers, women, poor and socially marginalized groups to access and utilize climate
information services.

Citation

Sivakumar MVK, Collins C, Jay A, Hansen J. 2014. Regional priorities for strenghtening climate services for farmers in Africa and South Asia. CCAFS Working Paper no. 71. Copenhagen, Denmark: CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).

Authors

Sivakumar, Mannava V.K.
Collins, C
Jay, A.
Hansen, James