From 2012 to 2015, representatives from 17 West African Meteorological Services interacted with over 10 600 farmers in a four-year project that organized 260 seminars. Over 4 500 raingauges were distributed to farmers who were taught basic weather principles and how to develop a supplemental observation network.
In addition, several of the Meteorological Services reported that successful partnerships and collaborations were launched with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), other government ministries and local farmer organizations. These partnerships led to increased requests for climate services, which has increased the visibility of the Meteorological Services with partners and within the country.
Evaluation reports on the impacts of providing weather and climate information to farmers from four of the countries showed that there is more work to be done to encourage women farmers to participate in the seminars. On average across the 17 countries, only 13% of the participants were women farmers. However, Burkina Faso and Cabo Verde reported that they had participation rates of 28% and 35%, respectively. The pilot study recommended that the participation of women farmers be increased through the engagement of nongovernmental organizations focused on women’s issues within the countries and by organizing seminars specifically for women farmers.
The Metagri Operational Project Final Technical Workshop held from 23 to 25 November in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, provided a detailed review of activities performed under the project. Topics included the successes, challenges and lessons learned by conducting roving seminars in each country, offering technical training at Meteorological Services, improving information broadcasts through workshops with the media in 13 countries, monitoring and evaluating the impact of seminars, and increasing the number of women farmers participating in seminars.