Local, reliable and timely agro-climatic information: a requirement of Colombian farmers

Local, reliable and timely agro-climatic information: a requirement of Colombian farmers

Awareness of climatic information relevant for future decisions through climatic forecasts is not enough to support farmer’s decision-making. It is necessary to look for agricultural management alternatives that allow farmers to adapt to climatic conditions and implement efficient and sustainable management systems, within a framework of effective communication with farmers.

This info note presents results from a mapping of actors and agro-climatic information needs in crops important for food security (maize and bush beans), in pilot sites of the project in Colombia. The hypothesis underlying the study is that through mapping actors who transmit information (climatic, prices, technical and financial) to farmers, knowing if this information is considered reliable, identifying unattended information needs and preferred formats to receive it that would support production decisions, one can devise useful, relevant, reliable, sustainable applicable solutions.

Key messages:

  • farmers need targeted, local, timely agro-climatic information from trusted sources, which allows to take better harvesting, variety, inputs, soil and crop management decisions, to face climate variability
  • it is strategic to incentivize mechanisms for the transmission and diffusion of information that increase trust among and towards farmers and technicians
  • television and radio are preferred information transmission mechanisms. Mobile phone applications are an effective way to receive and share real-time information
  • the favorite way to receive technical assistance is through n person follow up
  • farmers do not trust official institutions sending climatic information, while there is a feeling of low interest towards smallholder farmers
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