Central to understanding the usefulness of climate and weather forecasts in support of agricultural decision-making is addressing the issue of who receives what information. Many contend that improved climate forecasts since the late 1990s have had limited impact on smallholder farming communities in Africa and across the developing world. However, power and privilege may determine who has access to appropriate climate and advisory services within those communities. In 2011-2012, we tested this hypothesis in three climate-vulnerable farming communities in the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security semi-arid research site of Kaffrine, Senegal. Therein, we assessed gender-specific vulnerabilities to climate-related shocks, endogenous adaptation strategies, and coping mechanisms. From the gap between vulnerability and local capacity, we deduced farmers’ climate service needs, and then assessed whether these systematically differed between distinct vulnerable sub-groups within the community – chiefly, between male and female farmers. In 2011 we introduced a seasonal climate forecast for the first time in the community, and explored perceptions of forecast access, usefulness and value, by both men and women.
Tall, A.; Kristjanson, P.; Chaudhury, M.; McKune, S.; Zougmore, R. Who gets the information? Gender, power and equity considerations in the design of climate services for farmers. CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), Copenhagen, Denmark (2010) 77 pp.