In Senegal, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) has worked closely with the National Meteorological Agency (ANACIM) to develop locally relevant climate information services, and enhance the capacity of partners to communicate information to farmers and help them incorporate it into their training. The work began at a pilot scale in 2011, with farmer training and planning workshops in Kaffrine. The pilot revealed a strong demand for climate information, and requests were made to scale up beyond the initial pilot. Rural radio was used to scale up into new regions in Senegal, accessed through a partnership with the Union of Rural Radio (URAC), a federation of NGOs and Institute of Agricultural Research of Senegal (ISRA). CCAFS scientists worked with ANACIM to provide seasonal and 10-day forecasts tailored for farmers. A special program communicated this information through URAC’s radio station network. Journalists from 40 radio stations were trained to understand and communicate climate information. The interactive radio programming allowed listeners to share feedback, including additional information, views, and requests for clarification.
Relationship to CSA
While there is clear evidence that farmers in Senegal both demand and use weather information, the extent to which this has contributed to CSA objectives through increased resilience and productivity requires further investigation.
Impacts and lessons learned
A recent evaluation estimated that 560,000 rural households now have access to climate information services in Senegal as a result of this effort. The study showed that farmers are changing their management practices in response to the information, but more work is needed to understand the extent of these changes and their impact on farmers’ livelihoods. Evidence suggests that the pilot effort connected with strong demand among farmers, by providing locally downscaled information, in a process that engaged rural communities in meaningful dialog with climate and agricultural experts. Partnering with URAC to equip radio stations to deliver climate information proved an effective and low-cost way to respond to demand and provided substantial access to local farmers, as it spans across all 14 administrative regions and operates in local languages, and utilizes an interactive format to engage listeners.
CCAFS Big Facts - Rainfall forecasts enabling better agricultural management in Senegal: https://ccafs.cgiar.org/bigfacts/#theme=evidence-of-success&subtheme=services&casestudy=servicesCs1
Lo HM, Dieng M. 2015. Impact assessment of communicating seasonal climate forecasts in Kaffrine, Diourbel, Louga, Thies and Fatick (Niakhar) regions in Senegal: Final Report for CCAFS West Africa Regional Program.https://cgspace.cgiar.org/rest/bitstreams/56619/retrieve Climate information is now an agricultural input just like seeds, fertilizers or equipment which are at the basis of production. In a nutshell, this is what emerges from this assessment report on the CGIAR Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) on the transmission of climate information (CI) and relevant agricultural advice to farmers in Kaffrine, Diourbel, Thies, Louga and Fatick administrative regions. Through this project, CCAFS seeks to contribute to improving the resilience of rural people to climate change by mainstreaming climate information more adequately in the planning and implementation of development activities. Thanks to the involvement of the network of community rural radio stations (URAC), CCAFS estimates that two million people have had access to climate information (CI), have used it in whole or in part, and that this has had an impact on their farming practices.
Ndiaye O, Moussa AS, Seck M, Zougmore R, Hansen J. 2013. Communicating seasonal forecasts to farmers in Kaffrine, Senegal for better agricultural management. Dublin, Ireland: Irish Aid.http://www.mrfcj.org/pdf/case-studies/2013-04-16-Senegal.pdf Our project explaining seasonal forecasting to farmers in central Senegal built common ground between scientific forecasting and traditional knowledge. It helped farmers understand and use seasonal forecasts to improve crop strategies, and let farmers explain to meteorologists what seasonal climate information they most needed, in turn improving the forecasts’ usefulness.