CCAA Learning Paper 1 Integrating meteorological and indigenous knowledge-based seasonal climate forecasts for the agricultural sector

March 29, 2011
Gina Ziervogel and Alfred Opere

Contributing authors: Ignitius Chagonda; Jacob Churi; Amadou Dieye; Boris Houenou; Said Hounkponou; Eric Kisiangani; Evans Kituyi; Cromwel Lukorito; Ayub Macharia; Henry Mahoo; Amos Majule; Paul Mapfumo; Florence Mtambanengwe; Francis Mugabe; Laban Ogallo; Gilbert Ouma; Amadou Sall; Greno Wanda

The Climate Change Adaptation in Africa program, funded by Canada's International Development Research Centre and the United Kingdom's Department for International Development, has supported a number of projects that have investigated how seasonal climate forecasts developed by national meteorological services (SCFs) might be better integrated into agricultural and pastoral decision-making to strengthen livelihoods and food security. Through these projects, it has become clear that indigenous knowledge-based seasonal forecasts, which have been used by communities for decades, provide information that is complementary to the SCFs. Some projects set out to investigate links between the two information sources at the outset, while others explored them when they emerged as an important focus in supporting increased uptake of SCF information.

This paper addresses two questions. First, how can farmers’ and pastoralists’ needs be met by the dissemination and application of meteorological information and, second, how can SCFs complement indigenous knowledge about the climate.

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