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.
Sivakumar, M.V.K.; Collins, C.; Jay, A.; Hansen, J. Regional Priorities for Strengthening Climate Services for Farmers in Africa and South Asia. CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), Copenhagen, Denmark (2014) 35 pp.