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Climate Solutions that work for farmers

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As the curtain comes down at COP23 in Bonn, Germany we await take-aways that could impact on farmers. What climate smart solutions really work for farmers?

The publication ‘Climate Solutions that work for farmers’ though written in 2015, predicted that smallholder farmers in developing countries will be hardest hit by climate change because they rely on weather and have a low level of resilience of farming to climate disasters.

Cases in the innovative climate-smart agricultural solutions

The booklet covers a selection of climate-smart solutions designed to help smallholder farmers. In that publication there are 14 stories that are covered in the following topics:-

  • Making the Most of Water
  • Livestock Farmers Adapt to Climate Change
  • Climate-Proofing Staple crops in Africa
  • Harnessing the Power of ICTs
  •  Agricultural Insurance helps farmers adapt to climate change
  • Climate resilience as part of a larger package

This blog will focus on the two stories related to ICTs

Harnessing the Power of ICTs

ICTs are poised to revolutionize access and use of knowledge especially for farmers. In Africa mobile subscriptions are now more than a billion.

Recently, the International telecommunications Union, estimates that the number of mobile subscriptions stands at 7.74 billion, exceeding the global population.

Mobile apps and technologies are playing a major role in helping farmers resilient to negative effects of climate change. Under the Harnessing the Power of ICTs 2 case studies were provided.

Story 10: New Mobile technology provides location-specific information

This case details The Land-Portential Knowledge System (LandPKS) a USAID-funded projects implemented by the USDA with pilot sites in Namibia, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Nepal. The projects seeks to avert the challenges faced by African farmers due to land degradation and poor soil management. LandPKS enables users to “capture point-specific data- about soil characteristics, rainfall and temperature using apps connected to cloud-based storage” (CTA, 2015).

In order to achieve this task the LandPKS have two integrated mobile apps for collecting;

  1. Basic soil and topographic information to determine land potential (LandInfo)
  2. Soil and vegetation cover data to monitor changes in plant community composition, wind and water erosion risk (LandCover)

More information here

Story 11: Designing agro-weather tools for farmers

This story details the efforts made to provider farmers with accurate forecasts to help farmers cope with the changes in weather. A pilot agro-weather advisory service was launched in Embu and Ada’a districts in Kenya and Ethiopia. This project was funded by the World Bank in association with RMSI. The agro-weather tools access historic weather data and analyze it, giving farmers the ability to forecast the best time to carry out various farming activities. Farmers then receive geo-referenced information by text messages, local radios on when to sow their crops.

More information on this project

Sources used

  1. Ademola Braimoh, Idowu Oladele,* Xiaoyue Hou, and Gunnar Larson.2015. Increasing Agricultural Production and Resilience Through Climate Information Services. World bank
  2. Kenya News.2015. Agro-Weather Tool for Climate-Smart Agriculture tested in Kenya and Ethiopia
  3. Uttam, Singh.2017.Web-based Tools Helping Farmers to Practice Climate Smart Agriculture