Assessing Mali's Direction Nationale de la Meteorologie Agrometeorological Advisory Program
Preliminary Report on the Climate Science and Farmer Use of Advisories
This is the first of a two-part analysis of a program in Mali that is offering climate services to farmers, such as forecasts and other relevant climate information.
The agrometeorological program - Direction Nationale de la Météorologie (National Meteorological Directorate, henceforth Meteo Mali) - has resulted in substantial boosts in crop yields. At a USAID-sponsored workshop, representatives of other countries in Africa’s Sahel region expressed interest in similar climate services. This report not only examines how Meteo Mali is performing, but how such information could benefit other small farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.
Among other findings, it said rates of use by farmers of agrometeorological advisories were very low and appeared to assume that farmers were unable to work with uncertainty.
The report also includes recommendations, such as the following:
- Shift advisories away from the use of analogue years, as previous experiences of similar rainfall may not hold in a changing climate
- Conduct research into the predictability of intra-seasonal variations in rainfall and probability of extreme events
- Investigate ways to convey forecast uncertainties to farmers
- Expand advisories to address gender, the needs of pastoralists, and for poorer farmers who may have greater difficulty responding to advisories in a timely manner
- Improve the understanding the role of weather and climate (and therefore climate services) in rural livelihoods more broadly
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