Tailored agro-climate services and food security information for better decision making in Latin America

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“Don Luis farmer” with an extension officer, setting-up a meteorological station. Photo: D. Obando (CIAT)

Project description

Knowledge, sourced from both farmers and the science that supports them, is the backbone of the AgroClimas project. New climate information tools which include historical analyses, monitoring systems, and agroclimatic forecasts have the power to help farmers adapt to the impacts of climate variability. By delivering local information to smallholder farmers translated in conjunction with the extension services, farmers are better equipped to both protect themselves against extreme events and to take advantage of good climate conditions. The goal of the AgroClimas project is to close the gap between agro-climate information generation and its use by farmers, taking into account the needs of the Latin American agricultural sector in terms in the context of climate variability.

Target countries: The project is implemented in Colombia, Guatemala and Honduras.

Outcomes

The project aims to collaborate with national stakeholders to develop and implement innovative approaches and tools based on local and scientific information for improving climate risk management by (i) taking into account gender aspects and food security indicators, (ii) combining local data on agroclimatic information with seasonal forecasts, and (iii) improving information formats and delivery to decision-makers and farmers. The project produces evidence of the technical capacity required to address those needs through collaboration with strategic partners, like national meteorological services.

Impacts

Following the theory of change of the project, impact assessment in AgroClimas is to be divided in four major outputs: a) changes in knowledge on agro-climatic forecasts and capacity strengthening, resulting (perceived) impacts on institutional actors, b) explores the benefits of generating and sharing with relevant stakeholders, agro-climatic information at a local level, c) determine the usefulness and usability of the agro-climatic information products, and d) measure what the impact is on farmers’ livelihoods, with the technicians’ that will implement food security information systems that incorporate tailored information on crop production and seasonal climate forecasts.

Outputs

Mapping networks and impact assessment: Information flows and decision-making cycles understand demand and gaps, and determine the usefulness and usability of the agro-climatic information products.

Historical data: Learn from the past - climate reconstruction, combine observations with satellite data. RClimTool to increase knowledge and skills about the use and statistical analysis of climatic information and the relationships with agricultural information.

Food security and disaster response: Co-design Food Security Decision Support System (FSDSS) delivers user-tailored system connecting multiple sources of information (climate, agriculture, food security) to help institutions better identifying and planning for food delivery / disaster response actions.

Monitoring the present: Collaborative work leads to the establishment of a national agro-climatic near real-time monitoring service (Maproom-based) for specific users and a response system.

Agro-climatic forecasts: Provide relevant future information - Assessment of seasonal forecast skill, improvement of existing seasonal forecasting tools, and capacity strengthening improves the efficiency and helps user-tailor the generation of seasonal forecasts by meteorological services.

Dissemination mechanisms: Innovative “formats” of products, “translating” climate into agronomically relevant information, and the support of the National and Local Technical Agro-climatic Committees.

Partners

The project team is made up of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Bioversity International, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), the International Potato Center (CIP), and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). Local and regional partners include Action Against Hunger (ACF), Centro Agrónomico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE), and Federación Nacional de Cultivadores de Cereales (Fenalce).

Gender

Gender-disaggregated user feedback on new information products will lead to increased control by women and other marginalized groups of assets, inputs, information and decision making. The research will measure changes in access to climate and food security information and, evidence of information use in government and household decision-making, using an approach that is sensitive to gender and social differentiation dimensions.

Further information

For further information, please contact Project Leader, Diana Giraldo (CIAT) at d.giraldo@cgiar.org, and Julián Ramírez-Villegas, Climate impacts scientist and project co-lead at J.R.Villegas@CGIAR.ORG.