“Before, our rainy seasons were longer. We were able to predict weather and seasonal changes by observing animal behavior in their natural habitats,” Paul Thiaw, a local Senegalese farmer, told researchers at a recent workshop on climate services. “With habitat loss and biodiversity decline, we have simply lost some valuable climate pattern indicators,” he stressed while adding, “this is where we can benefit from climate service expertise.”
Farmers are constantly facing new environmental challenges, which are threatening food production in some of the poorest regions of the world. One way to reduce vulnerability is through implementing and working with climate services that are relevant for smallholder farmers.
The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) is striving for solutions on this, by using multidisciplinary approaches to bridge the gaps between Agro-met experts, geographers, researchers, developers and smallholder farmers.
Therefore, CCAFS convened an international workshop, together with the Climate Services Partnership, USAID and World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), with support from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), in Senegal.
Climate services can only resolve a portion of farmers’ problems; however the purpose of the workshop was to foster the work of researchers and multiple stakeholders by identifying the specific needs of farmers to address their largest issues related to climate.
Watch a movie clip showed during the workshop: Voices from the field: Benefit and potentials of Climate Information needs of farmers, and the challenges to meeting those needs. Movie by Francesco Fiondella.