Researchers, policy makers, farmers moot measures to fast track provision of climate smart early warning information for agricultureGIANT
Sensitize top leadership at the ministries of agriculture to invest financial resources to metrological units and experts at national and sub-regional level and provide enabling policy environment for transforming climate information needed for provision of agro advisories.
BEN MOSES ILAKUT
NAIROBI: Agricultural Research for development institutions in Eastern and Central Africa have been urged to build a critical mass of experts, suppliers and users of climate smart weather information to inform location-specific smart planning at policy level and early warning simulation level to inform accurate decision making and investments at the farm level for livestock and crop production.
During the just concluded training on application of foresight data in enhancing agricultural policy implementation and decision making in Eastern and Central Africa, held in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, stakeholders were also asked to prioritize capacity building stakeholders on co-production of climate information services.
Addressing participants, ASARECA Executive Director, Dr. Enock Warinda, in a statement delivered by the Head of Programmes—ASARECA, Mr. Moses Odeke, said climate change affects populations in the sub-region through disruption of crop and livestock production systems and value chains.
The workshop held from from June 23 to 24, 2022 was organised by ASARECA in collaboration with Alliance for Bioversity International and CIAT, ILRI, ICPAC and the National Agricultural Research institutes in Eastern and Central Africa.
The training targeted participants from the private sector, farmer groups, policy makers, extension workers, and climate scientists from the National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARIs), Ministries of Agriculture, and National Meteorological Agencies in Kenya and Ethiopia.
Specifically, the workshop was aimed at raising awareness on the relevance of climate foresight data in agricultural decision making and policy implementation; building capacity of stakeholders in interpretation and analysis of climate foresight data; documenting lessons, experiences and challenges on access to and use of climate foresight data in agricultural policy implementation and decision making; and linking farmer groups to sources of climate agro-advisories among others.
ASARECA is implementing the Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa (AICCRA) Project (https://aiccra.cgiar.org/) in partnership with the Alliance for Bioversity International and CIAT – the lead institution for the project.
CIAT and ICPAC are key stakeholders in promoting climate smart metrological information
The AICCRA project is funded by the World Bank and aims to strengthen technical, institutional, and human capacity to enhance transfer of climate-relevant information, decision-making tools, and technologies in Africa. The project focuses on 4 major components namely: Knowledge generation and sharing through development of climate-informed agricultural advisory services and decision-making tools; Strengthening partnerships for delivery of climate-smart innovations in agriculture; Validating climate-smart agriculture innovations through piloting; and project management.
At the end of the workshop, participants agreed on actions to be implemented by ASARECA, CIAT, ICPAC, ILRI, the NARIs and the Governments.
Below is a news version of the 14 action points:
- Policy and capacity strengthening framework for CIS: Develop policy framework at national and regional levels for engagement of value chain actors in climatic services and products, support to the regional climate outlook forum, as well as frameworks for awareness and capacity building for all actors involved in the generation and utilisation of climate products and services.
- Mainstream top leadership: Sensitize top leadership at the ministries of agriculture to invest financial resources to metrological units and experts at national and sub regional level and provide enabling policy environment for transforming climate information needed for provision of agro advisories.
- Convene high level dialogue: Convene a high level research policy meeting on climate information to talk data, funding, and policy decisions.
- Document best practices: Document best practices on Climate Information Services (CIS) and disseminate them widely within the region.
- Capacity strengthening: Build a critical mass of experts, suppliers and users of climate smart information to inform location-specific smart planning at policy level, provide accurate advice at the simulation level, inform extension support, and fairly accurate decision making and investments at the farm level for both livestock and crop production.
- Collaboration: Continue to promote partnership and collaboration through ASARECA as a reputable regional organisation which supports a smooth delivery of international interventions to the national agricultural system. This collaboration should focus on catalysing coordinated and speedy achievement of early warning impacts as well as work towards reducing the accuracy gaps.
- Integration of and leveraging on existing systems: Through the ASARECA network, and taking advantage of the AICCRA project, continue to integrate already established agro metrological systems developed in Kenya and Ethiopia, and by international institutions to provide better solutions for all countries in Eastern and Central Africa.
- Investment in downscaling agro metrological information: Empower the national systems to continue to prioritize investments on building capacity for downscaling metrological data from regional to national, zonal, and community levels. Prioritize spatial considerations in determining the accuracy of agro metrological data.
- Co-production and co-development of interventions and information: Establish platforms for national and regional actors to co-design and co-deliver climate services. In addition, promote co-production of metrological and early warning data to ensure it is well informed by stakeholders and addresses the needs of users.
- Private sector role: Borrowing from Ethiopia, mainstream the private sector to support the delivery of agro-metrological data and invest in feedback mechanism for agro metrological information to ensure farmers get what they need.
- Indigenous knowledge: Research, extension and simulation experts should continue to mainstream indigenous knowledge to complement the technical simulations and geospatial information to reduce the accuracy gap in agro-met information. This calls for maintenance of databases of indigenous experts who should be consulted relevant times.
- User Interface Platforms (UIPs): Promote the use of User Interface Platforms (UIPs) to facilitate interactions to enable climate service actors to come together, learn, and improve communication, coordination and collaboration.
- Participation in Key Early warning forums: ASARECA and other regional partners should support key stakeholders including farmers to participate in the Great Horn of Africa Climate Smart Agriculture conference in August, 2022 in Mombasa, and other such forums.
- Resource mobilisation: CIAT and ASARECA should continue with strategic networking to raise more donor funds for supporting CIS.