Farmers dial in for climate information – but are they getting the message?

By Arame Tall and Caity Peterson

Smallholder farmers are an extraordinarily adaptive bunch. They are well aware of changes occurring in their environment and usually take quick steps to accommodate them, or even benefit from them if they can. However, the increasing unpredictability of climate patterns and the rapid pace of change are becoming overwhelming; traditional knowledge and coping mechanisms often can’t keep up.

To support farmers’ decision-making processes in the face of such uncertainty, CCAFS is looking into the effectiveness of delivering climate information and advisory services through radio, public media and other communication channels using the example of successful initiatives in India and Mali.

Read the full story on Reuters AlertNet: Climate Conversations – Do farmers get the message?

Learn more about this work at the Ideas Marketplace and tell us what you think!

Caity Peterson is a visiting researcher and science writer based at the Center for International Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Cali, Colombia.  Arame Tall is a climate-service scientist for the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).

  • Matthew Fielding November 27, 2012 at 8:07 am

    We wrote a discussion brief earlier in the year regarding the up-scaling of communication systems to smallholder farmers. We found that in our case from Uganda, the barrier to expanding information services was the business model that most of these start-ups used. In many ways FDI in this sector made the companies un-competitive in an un-subsidised market. Similarly donors/investors weren’t happy when money they had given was used for advertising and outreach, which they opined to be a waste of resources. We made some suggestions for how to proceed, you can download it here –