A study by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) said this development would help hedge farmers against weather extremes.
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A new report finds that many countries are already providing millions of farmers with innovative “climate information services” that allow them to anticipate and adapt to rapidly changing conditions.
The report added that countries were mobilising community radio stations, government meteorological services to develop and distribute forecasts and farming strategies that provide a front-line defense against the effects of climate change on food production.
The report, Scaling up climate services for farmers: Mission Possible is the first analysis of this new approach to adapting to the stresses of climate change.
“It comes as experts attended a major conference, Managing Agricultural Risks in a Changing Climate in Sub-Saharan Africa,held November 4-5 in Johannesburg, South Africa,” read CGIAR Research Program statement.
The conference, hosted by the Forum for Agricultural Risk Management in Development attracted over 200 participants from the public and private sector to focus on practical solutions to managing short-term climate risks while building resilience over the long term.
Arame Tall, CCAFS’ climate services scientist and lead author of the report said it was encouraging to see climate information services emerging that are drawing from many types of experts and engaging a wide range of partners to devise effective strategies to help farmers cope with a changing climate.
“They are allowing farmers to protect themselves from the effects of weather extremes, such as droughts and floods, and also helping them take advantage of especially good conditions. The involvement of farmers in developing these climate services is essential to their success,” Tall added.
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The CCAFS report featuring 18 case studies from Africa and South Asia established that countries are taking a variety of approaches to climate services, which generally involve developing high-quality, location-specific data on temperature, among other things, that help farmers decide the best crop variety to cultivate and when to plant and apply fertiliser.
James Hansen, a report co-author who leads the CCAFS Climate Risk Management research team said the increasing vulnerability of smallholder farmers to climate risk was a major motivation for much of the recent interest and investment in climate services.