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Adv. Sci. Res., 15, 15-20, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/asr-15-15-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
 
17 Apr 2018
Agrometeorological services for smallholder farmers in West Africa
Vieri Tarchiani1, José Camacho2, Hamidou Coulibaly3, Federica Rossi1, and Robert Stefanski2 1Istituto di Biometeorologia, National Research Council, Via G. Caproni 8, 50145 Florence, Italy
2Agricultural Meteorology Division, WMO, 7bis Av. de la Paix, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland
3Office National de la Météorologie, Nouakchott, Mauritania
Abstract. Climate variability and change are recognised as a major threat for West African agriculture, particularly for smallholder farmers. Moreover, population pressure, poverty, and food insecurity, are worsening the vulnerability of production systems to climate risks. Application of Climate Services in agriculture, specifically Agrometeorological Services, is acknowledged as a valuable innovation to assist decision-making and develop farmers' specific adaptive capacities. In West Africa, the World Meteorological Organisation and National Meteorological Services deployed considerable efforts in the development of Agrometeorological Services. Nevertheless, the impacts of such services on West African farming communities are still largely unknown. This paper aims to delineate the added value of agrometeorological services for farmers within the Agriculture Innovation System of Mauritania. The results of this quali-quantitative assessment demonstrate that farmers use agrometeorological information for a variety of choices: making strategic choice on the seed variety and on the geographical distribution of plots, choosing the most appropriate planting date, better tuning crop development cycle with the rhythm of the rains and choosing favourable periods for different cultural operations.

Globally, the effects of all these good practices can be summarized by an increase of crops productivity and a decrease of cropping costs (including opportunity cost) in terms of inputs and working time.

Citation: Tarchiani, V., Camacho, J., Coulibaly, H., Rossi, F., and Stefanski, R.: Agrometeorological services for smallholder farmers in West Africa, Adv. Sci. Res., 15, 15-20, https://doi.org/10.5194/asr-15-15-2018, 2018.
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There is a limited knowledge on impacts of Climate Services in Africa. This paper analyses the impacts that agrometeorological services have for smallholder farmers in a typical rainfed staple crop production system of West Africa. The results show that such services enable farmers to mitigate some climatic risks and to optimize the inputs use efficiency. The final outcome is an increase of crop yield and an economic benefit compared to farmers that does not use the services.
There is a limited knowledge on impacts of Climate Services in Africa. This paper analyses the...
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