Malawi’s agriculture sector stands to benefit from climate-smart technologies that meteorologists are developing to support farmers in making informed agriculture investment decisions in light of climate change.
The country’s economic mainstay which is anchored by the agriculture sector is not spared from disruptions that emanate from extreme effects of climate change.
Taking into account that smallholder farmers are key in ensuring food security in Malawi and most African countries, the African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD) in collaboration with other key stakeholders is drilling scientists in agriculture and meteorology fields on Climate Services for Building Climate Resilience of the Agriculture Sector in Africa using a web-based tool known as a climate information tool for Agriculture (CLIMTAG).
Director of ACMAD, Andre Kamga Foamouhoue said CLIMTAG is crucial as it provides information to smallholder farmers from planting to getting the product to the market.
“We need to connect the meteorological services with the federation of farmers including smallholder farmers. Then we need to develop a platform that will have weather-related information that will help them make informed decisions on time,” said Foamouhoue.
On his part, Jolly Wasambo, CliSA Programme Coordinator in the Directorate of Sustainable Environment and Blue Economy at the African Union Commission said the agriculture sector has suffered because of failure to fully utilise developed tools in climate change. He further said now is the time for Africans should develop African-oriented tools.
“What is key is that our national meteorology office and other national. Agencies should be able to generate timely and accurate information and information should be delivered to the last-mile users (farmers) in a comprehensible form. Over and above that we need to generate information that is African-oriented,” Said Wasambo.
Summing up Hamilton Kamwana Director of Planning in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Climate Change said Malawi as an agro-based economy needs to fully utilise climate information so that investments in the agriculture sector should not be affected.
“Agriculture has backward and forward linkages to other sectors of the economy. We need real-time information that will help us make the right investment decisions in the agriculture sector. This workshop is an eye-opener,” said Kamwana.
Agriculture scientists and meteorologists across Africa attended the three-day conference to share knowledge of how the CLIMATAG operates in providing real-time information for the agriculture sector in all respective participating countries
File photo credit WFP