Malawi summary of baseline studies: country report for the GFCS Adaptation Program in Africa

Malawi summary of baseline studies: country report for the GFCS Adaptation Program in Africa

This report reflects the summary of baseline findings in Malawi, under the auspices of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) Adaptation Programme in Africa. It identifies gaps in climate information access and use at the local level, types of climate services farmers and pastoralists need in Malawi, relevant channels to reach farmers with requested services, lead-time and gender-specific requirements for the design and delivery of climate services that matter to farmers.

The analysis supports several recommendations for improving the supply, delivery, and iterative feedback and improvement of climate services in Malawi:

  • to improve the supply of useful services, first develop climate service products to be responsive to farmer needs. Second, indicate value and integrate traditional indicators with the conventional climate forecasts to promote farmers’ use of scientific climate information in conjunction with their own indigenous knowledge. Finally, co-produce services with agricultural experts: establish a dialogue between national meteorology services, extension agents and farmers. This will represent an effective platform for relevant and useful climate services for farmers
  • to improve the delivery of climate information and advisories, climate information communication for farmers must rely on radio and extension workers both from government and NGOs. Extension agents should also be trained in understanding climate forecast concepts and integrate them into routine extension support
  • rigorous evaluation of climate services is a requirement for improving the usefulness of the services delivered. First, conduct post-season reviews to capture farmer feedback on received services. Second, continue to track climate information access and use at the local level, and changes against the baseline. 

This summary of CCAFS baseline findings from Malawi reveals the current state of climate information use at the local level, gaps and needs of farmers before they can benefit from improved science-based climate information, identifying the role of ICTs and rural radio to reach marginalized rural communities. It is hoped that these findings will offer valuable insights to the GFCS Adaptation Program in Africa, and future projects working to scale up relevant climate services for farmers and pastoralists in the country. 

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